MIAMI, OCT. 3 -- The Archdiocese of Miami, despite Roman Catholic teachings against birth control devices, owns stocks in companies that manufacture contraceptives, church records show.
The archdiocese also holds shares of companies that build nuclear weapons, do business in South Africa and make R-rated movies.
"Obviously, something slipped through here," said the Rev. John J. Vaughan, financial administrator for the archdiocese. "If our policy has been violated, it was not deliberate and it was against our wishes." Vaughan said he had no idea that the church owned stocks in companies that make contraceptives.
An investment list provided Friday by the archdiocese shows that in August it owned $59,775 worth of stock in Johnson & Johnson, whose subsidiary, Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp., makes a variety of birth-control pills, contraceptive creams and diaphragms. An additional $50,940 worth of Johnson & Johnson stock was sold in August.
". . . If we didn't invest in everyone we didn't agree completely with, we wouldn't even invest in government bonds," Vaughan said. "We have stock managers -- four different firms -- which are supposed to prevent any conflicts with our doctrine and keep something like this from happening," he added.
The archdiocese investment portfolio is worth $37.5 million.