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Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin and the Catholic Worker MovementEconomics and Catholic Social TeachingPope Francis and Peter Maurin on Usury

Pope Francis and Peter Maurin on Usury

Pope Francis Calls Usury a Scourge, a Plague, as Did Peter Maurin

On January 29, 2014, Pope Francis greeted the National Council of Anti-Usury Foundations, speaking strongly about the scourge, the plague of usury, the charging of interest, especially exorbitant interest, calling it a dramatic social ill:

“I hope that these institutions may intensify their commitment alongside the victims of usury, a dramatic social ill.

“When a family has nothing to eat, because it has to make payments to usurers, this is not Christian, it is not human! This dramatic scourge in our society harms the inviolable dignity of the human person.”

Usurers Are Not Gentlemen

by Peter Maurin

1. The Prophets of Israel and the Fathers of the Church

forbade lending money at interest.

2. Lending at interest

was called usury

by the Prophets of Israel

and the Fathers of the Church.

3. Usurers were not considered

to be gentlemen

when people used to listen

to the Prophets of Israel

and the Fathers of the Church.

4. When people used to listen

to the Prophets of Israel

and the Fathers of the Church

they could not see anything gentle

in trying to live

on the sweat of somebody else’s brow

by lending money at interest.