Benedict XVI Assails "Social Plague" of Usury

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 23, 2005 ( Benedict XVI condemned the «social plague» of usury and said that it should be combated through prevention, solidarity and education.

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The Pope made his appeal at the end of today’s general audience, which gathered more than 25,000 pilgrims, including 2,000 members of the National Anti-Usury Consultancy.

This association of volunteers of Christian inspiration celebrated their 10th anniversary by attending the audience in St. Peter’s Square, and a Mass celebrated later in St. Peter’s Basilica.

«Dear friends,» the Holy Father said, «your presence in such large numbers gives me the opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation for the courageous and generous activity you carry out in support of the families of people hit by the deplorable social plague of usury.»

«I hope that many people will stand alongside you to support your worthy commitment in the field of prevention, solidarity and education,» he added.

The Italian National Anti-Usury Consultancy offers guarantees to banks or technical assistance to free from their grip victims or possible victims of being charged excessive interest rates, and encourages cultural endeavors and activities of formation to promote respect for legality.

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