LEO X 1513-1521




Ecumenical XVIII (The Reform of the Church)

“Mountains of Piety” and Usury *


[From the Bull “Inter multiplices,” April 28 (Session X, May 4), 1515]


739 With the approval of the holy Council, we declare and define that the aforesaid “Mountains of piety” established by the civil authorities and thus far approved and confirmed by the authority of the Apostolic See, in which a moderate rate of interest is received exclusively for the expenses of the officials and for other things pertaining to their keeping, as is set forth, for an indemnity of these as far as this matter is concerned, beyond the capital without a profit for these same Mountains, neither offer any species of evil, nor furnish an incentive to sin, nor in any way are condemned, nay rather that such a loan is worthwhile and is to be praised and approved, and least of all to be considered usury. . . . Moreover, we declare that all religious and ecclesiastics as well as secular persons, who henceforth shall dare to preach or dispute in word or in writing against the form of the present declaration and sanction, incur the penalty of excommunication of a sentence [automatically] imposed [latae sententiae], a privilege of any nature whatsoever notwithstanding.