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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:31 am
Posts: 696
Location: Moscow, Idaho, U.S.A.
New post Usury
I just finished reading a most excellent article concerning usury and the Church's position on it (it is intrinsically evil). The article is actually a review of a recent book by Michael Hoffman of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho who charges the Church with having "changed Her doctrine" on usury beginning in 1515.

I know Michael, and although he at one time attended a local SSPX chapel, it has been most obvious to me for a number of years that he would much prefer to be a "primitive protestant". He thoroughly annoys me with his nearly constant, misguided at best and simply wrong at worst, attacks on the Church.

Yet despite my and my wife's attempts to correct him on several issues, he simply will not listen to us.

Be that as it may, the article in question, published in the July/August issue of "Culture Wars" by E. Michael Jones (a Catholic sedeplenist) and available on the web for $4.00 as a PDF is very, very well researched and written, and corrects Michael's mistakes in no uncertain terms.

In the process, the author very thoroughly and properly explains and defines exactly what usury is, why the Church has always declared its practice to be a very serious sin, and why She still does.

The title, under the section entitled "Reviews", is "Has the Church Changed Her Teaching on Usury?", the author is Anthony Santelli III, Ph.D.

I suggest that any Catholic who wishes to understand the true condition of the world's economy today should read this article.

Kenneth G. Gordon

Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:34 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:22 am
Posts: 18
New post Re: Usury
Not being able to read the article at this point, can you sum up?

Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:52 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:31 am
Posts: 696
Location: Moscow, Idaho, U.S.A.
New post Re: Usury
Dominic wrote:
Not being able to read the article at this point, can you sum up?

I can try later today. The article is at least 10 pages long and very full of useful information.

The author's first intent was to rebut Michael Hoffman's charge that the Catholic Church has changed Her doctrine with regard to usury, beginning in about 1515 AD.

The author rebuts this charge very adequately (at least to my satisfaction).

But he also does a superb job of explaining exactly what usury is, what "interest" is, and how the Church helps Catholics deal with the totally usurious economic system of today.

I can quote you one example from his article: For example: you have only $500.00 which is not immediately needed for family expenses, but must be used to pay a creditor at a certain time in the future. Your friend comes to you with an immediate need of $500.00 and promises to pay you back on a date that is before the date your own bill comes due. So you loan this money to this needy friend. However, instead of repaying you when he promised you he would, he is unfortunately delayed, and cannot pay it back to you until after the bill you owe comes due. Due to the lateness of your own payment, your creditor charges you a late fee. In order for you to be "Made Whole", you must pass this late fee on to your friend when he is finally able to pay you. This late fee is what WAS called "interest".

This is not usury. Usury is to require of a creditor a certain amount for the "privilege" of borrowing money from you. In effect, you are being paid twice for the same "goods". This is patently dishonest and is also absolutely forbidden by God and the Church, both in the Old Testament and in the New.

What is even worse and more criminal is so-called "compound interest", which is the common practice today.

I have much more but now have to leave for a bit.

Kenneth G. Gordon

Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:24 pm
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:03 pm
Posts: 515
New post Re: Usury
From Money Manipulation and the Social Order

Fr. Denis Fahey wrote:
Many writers hold…that modern lending is so constituted that always and everywhere it is accompanied by extrinsic titles justifying interest…Accordingly, they maintain that usury, except in the sense of exorbitant interest, does not exist, because extrinsic titles justifying interest are always present. For these writers, however, money is a fungible thing, and has an existence independent of the lender and borrower. “A fungible thing,” writes Fr. Lewis Watt, S.J., in The Ethics of Interest, “is one which perishes in the act of serving its natural purpose…The money of which these writers speak, therefore, exists prior to being lent. A loan for them is the transfer of a pre-existing claim for goods and services which the lender has acquired. The lender gives up something. But when bankers grant loans, they bring exchange medium into existence, they create money. They are not simply lending exchange-medium having an existence independent of them and of the borrowers.

Attached is the referenced work by Rev. Lewis Watt, S.J. (actually it is a work by Rev. Watt on the subject, but not the referenced work)

Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:31 pm
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