We live in usurious times. The powerful have preyed on the poor, and those in positions of authority have allowed them to do so. Families are being driven from their homes. Those without the means to pay for health care leave their families to the mercy of debt collectors. Education, which should nourish the wisdom for which God made us, leaves many of us with a lifetime of debt. Corporations buy and sell the right to pollute God’s creation for profit, passing on an unpayable debt to future generations.

It is time to recall our tradition’s ancient prohibition of usury—the sin of unjust lending, of profiting from the burdens of debtors. We do so without prejudice or hatred, but for the sake of the common good. While speaking out on many other matters, people of faith have too often left economic life to self-serving experts, to the idolatry of an “invisible hand,” to the rule of greed. Here, too, we are meant to be prophets.

In solidarity with the Occupy movement’s Strike Debt campaign, as faithful Catholics, we call on one another to join the nonviolent struggle to reclaim the dignity and strength that is our birthright. We will support those among us bearing the burden of predatory debts. We will spread the spirit of jubilee by working to abolish debt that has no basis in justice. We will build a new economy based on the debts that we really owe: to our families, our co-workers, our friends, our neighbors, our Earth, and those who share our struggle around the world. We will name the injustice—the usury—being practiced in our midst, and exorcise it with our resistance.

We are the 99%, made in God’s image, seeking God’s justice for all.

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To sign this statement please fill out the form below, and your name will be added shortly thereafter. Spread the word!

  1. Micah Bales (Capitol Hill Friends)
  2. Claire Bangasser (CLC)
  3. Barbara Bank (Diocese of San Diego, CA, alumni of St. Joseph’s College)
  4. E.A. Bloomfield (Archdiocese of Hardford)
  5. Judy Bourff (Quaker)
  6. Judith Brady, OP (Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, NY)
  7. Jeanne Branchaud (Sisters of St. Joseph, Springfield, MA)
  8. Joan Braune
  9. Pamela Brigham (St Francis Xavier Parish, Missoula, MT)
  10. Mr. A Bunting
  11. Karen Burke, CSJ (Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY)
  12. Scott Buso (Sacred Heart Parish, Sedalia, MO)
  13. Christina Campbell (Our Mother of Consolation, Philadelphia, PA)
  14. Barbara Capozzi (Christiansburg, VA)
  15. Valerie Chapman (St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Portland, OR)
  16. Beth Cioffoletti (Diocese of Palm Beach)
  17. Baya Clare, CSJ (St. Paul, MN)
  18. Claire Coffey (St. Colman’s, Archdiocese of Philadelphia)
  19. Valentino Costa (St. John the Evangelist, Dunellen, NJ)
  20. Jack Cracchiola (Our Lady of Malibu, Archdiocese of Los Angeles)
  21. Jacob Crawford
  22. John Crawford-Gallagher (Archdiocese of Seattle)
  23. Addie Marie Darling (Archdiocese of Washington, DC)
  24. Joe Di Marius (Diocese of Oakland, CA)
  25. Joanne Draper (Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID)
  26. Eric Ehrnschwender (Archdiocese of Cincinnati)
  27. Eli (Tampa Bay, FL)
  28. Phil Ewing
  29. Robert A. Fambrini S.J. (Our Lady of Guadalupe, San Diego, CA)
  30. Madeleine Fentress (Archdiocese of New York)
  31. Paul Fitzgerald (Chicago, IL)
  32. Harold M. Frost IV (Diocese of Burlington, Vermont)
  33. Kevin Gallagher (Archdiocese of New York)
  34. Kitty Gamble (Society of Friends)
  35. Mary Ellen Gondeck (Congregation of St. Joseph)
  36. Joey Goodall
  37. Ave Regina Gould, CSJ (Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY)
  38. William Bostock Hackett III (The Unitarian Church of Santa Barbara, CA)
  39. Luke Hansen (Society of Jesus, America Press)
  40. Connie Harris (Fargo, ND)
  41. Pamela Hedgecock (Diocese of Austin)
  42. Barbara Heller (St. Philipp and Jakob Parish, Altötting, Germany)
  43. Richard Hennessy (Blessed Sarnelli Community)
  44. Francis R. Hittinger IV (Archdiocese of New York and Columbia University)
  45. Michael Hoffman (author of the book Usury in Christendom)
  46. Angela Hollar (Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, CA)
  47. D.Holmlund (Zoe sisterhood, Ontario)
  48. Tim Huether (Archdiocese of Washington, DC)
  49. Harold Isbell (San Francisco, CA)
  50. Jeremiah John (Mosiac Church, DC)
  51. Gloria Johnson (Brooklyn, NY)
  52. Ed Kaiel (St. Ignatius Parish, Portland, OR)
  53. Deacon Shannon Kearns (House of the Transfiguration, Minneapolis, MN)
  54. John E. Keegan (Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers)
  55. Lauren Kelly (Diocese of Camden)
  56. Susanne Kromberg (Salmon Bay Friends Meeting)
  57. Robert W. Krueger (Archdiocese of Portland)
  58. Donna Larsen (Bellevue, WA)
  59. Roberta Lavin (Dubuque, IA)
  60. Dominic Le Fave (St. Clare, Portland, OR)
  61. William Lindsey (Little Rock, AR)
  62. Jane Lloyd
  63. Yossi Lopez-Hineynu (Notre Dame alum, Loyola Chicago MA/MDiv student)
  64. Ahmed Mahmud (Istanbul, Turkey)
  65. Anne Elizabeth Grace Malcolm (daughter of the Holy Spirit)
  66. Ann E Malcolm (Norwich)
  67. Nancy Mascio (Archdiocese of Portland)
  68. Bernice McCann (Immaculate Conception, Irvington, NY)
  69. Sherry McCoy
  70. Sister Alison McCrary, CSJ (Congregation of St. Joseph)
  71. Francis J. McGuire (K.C.-St. Joseph Diocese)
  72. Patricia McGrady (Queen of Peace, Arlington, VA)
  73. Rose McMurray (Church of The Risen Savior)
  74. Dale Melton (Orange, CA)
  75. Brian Merritt (Mercy Junction)
  76. David Michaux (Circle of Hope, Philadelphia, PA)
  77. Kathleen R. Mitchell (St. Ignatius Parish)
  78. K Moss (15th St Meeting, Friends)
  79. Beth Mueller (Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, CA)
  80. Kaya Oakes (Diocese of Oakland, CA)
  81. Diana Oleskevich (Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Associates)
  82. Sarah King Politano (Harvard Divinity School, Archdiocese of Boston)
  83. James Rizza (Worcester, MA)
  84. Lisa Rubenstein (Occupy Wall Street)
  85. Mary Schneider (Monterey)
  86. Nathan Schneider (St. Joseph’s, Brooklyn, NY)
  87. Cathy Showalter (NOVA Community)
  88. Natalie Smolenski
  89. Donna Speaks (SW Virginia)
  90. Ann Spizewski
  91. Maurine Stenwick (Minneapolis, MN)
  92. John Surdilla (Diocese of Oakland)
  93. Elizabeth Traudt (Milwaukee, WI, Marquette University)
  94. Marlene Tuitele (St Cecilia’s, Beaverton, OR)
  95. John Turmel (Brantford, Canada)
  96. Mary Valle (Baltimore, MD)
  97. Stephanie Van Hook (Metta Center for Nonviolence)
  98. Robin Vestal (St Francis of Assisi, Fulton, MD)
  99. Sister Luz L. Visot, CSJ (Sisters of St. Joseph-Brentwood)
  100. Kristen Wack (Richmond, VA)
  101. Doug Westendorp
  102. Susan Wilcox (Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY)
  103. Barbara Williams (Los Angeles)
  104. H. Wayne Williams (Quaker in Philadelphia, PA)
  105. Donald Willms (St. Joseph the Worker, Winnipeg, MB)
  106. Jacqueline Yerby (St. Philip Neri, Portland, OR)