Woods and Usury

I was reading Woods again on usury and it is interesting to note that Woods actually quotes the pertinent passage that condemns the notion of usury as charging excessively or charging to the poor. However, it does seem to be that Woods explicitly acknowledges that there seems to be a problem between the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and current practice.

The argument to resolve this tensions is that when the declarations were made, condemnations issued, encyclicals promulgated, etc. the author’s were implicitly and without their knowledge saying “usury is a sin under this economic situation/structure.” The argument then goes that the Magisterium is not incorrect in its doctrine, only that the situation has changed and usury is no longer a sin. This is the common opinion among many learned defenders of usury. That the arguments against usury concern a economic situation foreign to ours.

This is highly problematic as it can then be applied to any moral doctrine. The prohibition again contraception is really about a different situation, which Ven. Pope Paul VI implicitly and without his knowledge presumed when he stated when it was intrinsically evil. In the current situation it is permissible, but Pope Paul VI’s teaching remains intact as Magisterial, but not relevant to the current circumstance.

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