The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

Archbishop hits out at loan sharks: ‘the money is cursed and I curse them too’

Sunday, 25 October 2020, 15:56 Last update: about 2 months ago

Archbishop Charles Scicluna on Sunday did not mince his words when dealing with usury, saying that people abusing of others through loans were causing so much distress to others.

In his homily during the weekly Sunday Mass, which was shown on TV, Scicluna said there were people who were charging 20 or 30 per cent for the money they loan, giving the borrowers little time to pay their exorbitant dues and pushing them towards the edge. 

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The archbishop said: “You will be accountable to God for bringing people to the brink of collapse. Some end their lives because they cannot pay the debt racked up through usury. I am warning those who are usurping our people by fattening their pockets: that money is cursed and I curse them too.”

“Lending is an act of mercy. But to ask for another €100 for every €100 you gave is theft. It’s sinful. There are people who do not make ends meet and make it to the end of the month by borrowing from these people who in return ask for people’s gold, not just as a pledge but as payment, over and above the repayments,” he said. 

“There are those who are victims of usury because their business was going south or because of gambling addiction. In any case, when a person knocks on your door and asks you to borrow money, you will be going against the law when you ask for more than the eight per cent allowed by the law,” the archbishop warned. 

 

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