Working at a Bank
#1
Given the Church's traditional stance on usury, would you consider it sinful to work as a teller at a conventional American bank? I'm considering a job change and wonder if this kind of work would be incompatible with the Faith. I've read some opinions about usury vs. the modern way of charging interest that are quite academic and over my head...just wondering about the thoughts 
 or experiences of others. Thank you!
Kyrie Eleison!
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#2
(11-17-2019, 05:07 PM)2HeartsServant Wrote: Given the Church's traditional stance on usury, would you consider it sinful to work as a teller at a conventional American bank? I'm considering a job change and wonder if this kind of work would be incompatible with the Faith. I've read some opinions about usury vs. the modern way of charging interest that are quite academic and over my head...just wondering about the thoughts 
 or experiences of others. Thank you!


The only two species of sin under consideration of taking the job would be either usury itself or scandal.  A teller would be ordinarily receiving deposits, paying out cash on demand and doing other register duties, so I don't see how a bank teller could be construed as a usurer.  However, if the bank teller's position is construed as a support for an illegitimate usurious institution, it could be a scandal.

You'll have to consider it hard.
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#3
No.  Banking is not usury.
.
Pawn shops, maybe.
Loan sharks, yes.
Banks, no.
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#4
(11-17-2019, 06:47 PM)MaryTN Wrote: No.  Banking is not usury.
.
Pawn shops, maybe.
Loan sharks, yes.
Banks, no.

The entire modern, fractional reserve, banking system is built on usury. It couldn't exist without it.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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#5
(11-17-2019, 07:11 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(11-17-2019, 06:47 PM)MaryTN Wrote: No.  Banking is not usury.
.
Pawn shops, maybe.
Loan sharks, yes.
Banks, no.

The entire modern, fractional reserve, banking system is built on usury. It couldn't exist without it.

Usury is charging extreme fees and interest.  Interest rates are low.  Borrowing from the bank is optional.  Most people use the bank for paying bills.  A teller only deals with money in-money out and counting/orderliness.  Pay-day loans are usury.
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#6
I would suggest that you read St Thomas Aquinas on usury, Summa Theologiae > Second Part of the Second Part > Question 78, and [/url]Vix Pervenit, the Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Benedict XIV, both of which disagree with you.

[url=http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3078.htm]
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
  “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'


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#7
(11-17-2019, 07:57 PM)MaryTN Wrote:
(11-17-2019, 07:11 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(11-17-2019, 06:47 PM)MaryTN Wrote: No.  Banking is not usury.
.
Pawn shops, maybe.
Loan sharks, yes.
Banks, no.

The entire modern, fractional reserve, banking system is built on usury. It couldn't exist without it.

Usury is charging extreme fees and interest.  Interest rates are low.  Borrowing from the bank is optional.  Most people use the bank for paying bills.  A teller only deals with money in-money out and counting/orderliness.  Pay-day loans are usury.


In contrast....


Fifth Lateran Council Wrote:"After a fixed period of time has passed, they say, those attached to these organisations demand from the poor to whom they make a loan so much per pound in addition to the capital sum. For this reason they cannot avoid the crime of usury or injustice, that is to say a clearly defined evil, since our Lord, according to Luke the evangelist, has bound us by a clear command that we ought not to expect any addition to the capital sum when we grant a loan. For, that is the real meaning of usury: when, from its use, a thing which produces nothing is applied to the acquiring of gain and profit without any work, any expense or any risk."


You can pay it for a good reason, just as you can tolerate other injustices, but you can't charge it.
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#8
Thanks to everyone for the comments. Hopefully we can keep the conversation going. It sounds as if I may want to consider other opportunities. Sadly, it seems very challenging to find a career that is entirely blameless or free from cooperation in some kind of sin these days...even things that I've been assured are *technically* not sinful are often so closely related to sin they become unappealing. Work at the gas station, you have to sell condoms...work at the department store, you have to sell immodest/offensive clothing...work at the school, you're commanded to remain silent as the morals of children are corrupted or malformed. I know that, traditionally, degrees of remote cooperation with evil are allowed in order to make a living, and I don't want to be scrupulous or negative, but it can be challenging to find work that doesn't prick the conscience.
Kyrie Eleison!
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#9
(11-17-2019, 08:44 PM)2HeartsServant Wrote: Thanks to everyone for the comments. Hopefully we can keep the conversation going. It sounds as if I may want to consider other opportunities. Sadly, it seems very challenging to find a career that is entirely blameless or free from cooperation in some kind of sin these days...even things that I've been assured are *technically* not sinful are often so closely related to sin they become unappealing. Work at the gas station, you have to sell condoms...work at the department store, you have to sell immodest/offensive clothing...work at the school, you're commanded to remain silent as the morals of children are corrupted or malformed. I know that, traditionally, degrees of remote cooperation with evil are allowed in order to make a living, and I don't want to be scrupulous or negative, but it can be challenging to find work that doesn't prick the conscience.

That's why I find it best to work for myself.  I encourage everyone to look into what you can do from home or with friends to make a living.  It's what many immigrants to the US capitalize on and end up making a much better situation for themselves and family.
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#10
If standard banking is usury, turn in your credit and debit cards.  Stop writing checks.  No more online purchases.   Quit getting your paycheck electronically deposited and tell the boss that you want to be paid in gold.  You must pay cash for your car and your home and everything else, well, actually not cash, but silver and gold pieces.
.
And, why does the Vatican have a bank?
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