A seamless garment of pastoral mercy, because you can’t handle the truth

September 21, 2015 § 4 Comments

I’d suggest that he who is complicit in obscuring moral doctrine with respect to property under a fog of ‘pastoral mercy’ and willful incomprehension has no standing to complain when doctrine with respect to sex and marriage is obscured under a fog of ‘pastoral mercy’ and willful incomprehension.

And vice versa, with emphasis on the vice.

Usury is, in its essence, very simple (really much simpler than contraception/NFP): if you lend (money or anything else) and expect the thing lent to be used up by the borrower and paid back in kind (secured by his personal guarantee) at some later date, you may not contract for any gain whatsoever on that loan without committing the execrable sin of usury.

§ 4 Responses to A seamless garment of pastoral mercy, because you can’t handle the truth

  • caethan says:

    I have a question about the “lent to be used up by the borrower” clause there. About 5 years ago, a friend of mine was having immigration issues – she had foolishly let her student visa expire. She had to go to the consulate and petition to be allowed to stay. As a part of that, she needed to show that she had sufficient funds to manage for a few months. However, she didn’t have much savings and if she had lost her visa she would have lost her source of income. So I loaned her a substantial amount of money to show that she could support herself on the understanding that if everything went well, she wouldn’t need to use it at all. Everything did in fact go well and she paid the money back a month later. It seems to me that money lent under those circumstances — essentially to be shown rather than used — might be different. As it happened, I had been reading your posts on usury and decided to loan the money without charging any interest. But would it have been wrong to do so?

  • Zippy says:

    Here is Aquinas:

    Reply to Objection 6. The principal use of a silver vessel is not its consumption, and so one may lawfully sell its use while retaining one’s ownership of it. On the other hand the principal use of silver money is sinking it in exchange, so that it is not lawful to sell its use and at the same time expect the restitution of the amount lent. It must be observed, however, that the secondary use of silver vessels may be an exchange, and such use may not be lawfully sold. On like manner there may be some secondary use of silver money; for instance, a man might lend coins for show, or to be used as security.

  • […] But some might think that deafening and willful silence about so-called ‘pastoral mercy’ toward unrepentant usurers combined with outrage over so-called ‘pastoral mercy’ toward unrepentant adulterers, is its own sort of cafeteria Catholicism. […]

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