By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
Immediately after his audience with members of Italy’s National Anti-Usury Council, Pope Frances wrote a letter to them. In it, he acknowledges and thanks them for their “generous charitable gesture” which he says he “directed to brothers and sisters deprived of human dignity: they are, in fact, the Kingdom of Heaven’s most secure bank.”
The Council is a precious yeast in society
He also reiterates that we are living in extremely difficult times in which corruption manifests itself everywhere. Pope Francis asks the Council to continue offering their services on behalf of the victims of usury “so that every persons feels they are being heard and can be guided out of the spiral of exclusion and iniquity.” This help, the Pope says, “is a precious yeast for the whole of society.”
Activities of the Council
The Holy Father met with members of the Anti-Usury Council on 3 February 2018. This Council provides both a social and pastoral activity throughout the dioceses of Italy. They seek to help families who have been the victims of usury or who have incurred excessive debt. Other ways they combat what they define as a “common social plague” are establishing anti-usury foundations where needed, uniting people who understand the problem and want to combat it, and by keeping the issue in the public eye by bringing it before both civil and church institutions, and the mass media.