Credit Unions: An Essential Part of Catholic Social Action

Credit Unions Frank OHara1937“The credit union is intended to be truly cooperative; it reflects in its principles and practices the Christian attitude toward the dignity and worth of the individual as superior to that of money; it recognizes the importance of self-help and mutual help,… it is a training school in social solidarity.”

A 20th century precursor to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was called the National Catholic Welfare Conference. This pamphlet – complete with Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat – was produced by its authority.

“We regard credit unions as cooperative
thrift and credit associations, conforming in
character and purpose to the requirements of
an ideal social order, as advocated and demanded
by Christian sociologists and preeminently
by His Holiness, Pope Pius XI.”

From the pamphlet: “The pamphlets in the Social Action Series, of which this is the seventh number, are edited by the Social Action Department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference. They represent an effort to present to the general public, and especially to Catholics, a discussion of current economic facts, institutions and proposals in the United States in their relation to Catholic social teaching, particularly as expounded in Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical “Forty Years After—Reconstructing the Social Order”  (Quadragesimo Anno). In the spirit of that Encyclical they are urged upon and recommended to individuals, study clubs, discussion groups and school classes.”

Download or read it here:  “Credit Unions” by Frank O’Hara. Catholic University. 1937


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