Edit: it was once a prescription of the Catholic Church that there was an explicit prohibition against the charging of interest or usury. This expectation has been modified. Usury wasn't prescribed by the early Church and it wasn't systematically condemned by the Fathers, but it became so beginning in the ninth century.
There still seems to be an injunction against usury or ruinous interest charged on non-productive loans, but it isn't discussed and many people don't understand why this ancient prohibition, going back to the ancients themselves, isn't more widely discussed these days by church authorities.
The Muslims don't lose any opportunity to capitalize on opportunities to discuss the problems with usury, and have even created alternatives to paying interest on loans by solutions like the following which apparently allow a devout Muslim borrower to share the risk with his lender in a real-estate transaction.
The increasing popularity of these programs, coupled with relative indifference on the part of Catholic church leaders on these matters, should raise some concerns about the growth of Islam and the growing significance of its legal structures in Western countries.
One of the many insights of historian Hilaire Belloc was in his discussions about Islam. As he pointed out, one of the many reasons why Islam became so popular was in "the Prophet's" dictum about usury and in his absolving his followers of the necessity of repaying loans (usurious or not).
The Church, oddly enough, has always - until its scandalous silence on the matter in recent decades - condemned usury, at least officially, even when it was itself the victim of usurious interest. But there is now a golden opportunity that has been handed to Rome which would allow it to once again proclaim the evils of usury and unfettered competition. That golden opportunity is, of course, the financial meltdown we are all experiencing, all, except of course the multi-billionaires who are largely behind this confiscation of wealth. With a single strong, clear, unequivocal, non-ambiguous statement from the Pope condemning this theft at the hands of International Finance, these pirates would begin scurrying to the nearest rat hole.
Rome really should not be leaving it to the Muslims to point out these things.
The Church's condemnation of usury isn't universal. It was only in the ninth century when the Church began to condemn it systematically.
I also think there is a missed opportunity in this, but it's unfortunate that more Catholic priests aren't aware of the evils of usury and how it may even be a serious sin.
It would be nice to see conscientious Catholics transforming the markets and making them more humane and Godly.
So much depends on a sound currency. If inflation is 15%, then an 18% interest rate could hardly be considered usery.
International Finance could not and would not confiscate wealth without colluding with government. The Administrative branch of the US Government is today controlled by agents of International Finance, and has been for decades regardless of who occupied the White House. I see little chance of that changing.
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