Jesus Went to the Temple and Challenged the Banking System of His Day, Now it is Our Turn

”Isn’t it high time to admit that mortgage lending in the United States and the foreclosures that have followed are so tainted by fraud, abuse and illegality that a moratorium on all foreclosures, everywhere, is the only just response?” He described filing of falsified documents to facilitate foreclosures as ”likely the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the courts of this country”.


An angry priest scatters the money lenders

Father Robert Rien, of St Ignatius at Antioch, a Catholic church east of San Francisco, speaks with a crisp buoyant voice that belies his 65 years. When he is angry it fairly crackles.

This Lenten season he is angry at America’s big banks, so angry he has pulled all his parish’s money out of the Bank of America and opened accounts at a small local bank.

He has called on his flock to do the same and joined a nationwide interfaith movement dedicated to divesting from the major banks. They see Lent as the perfect time to spread the word.

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”We have a mandate from the gospels to act,” says Father Rien.

”Jesus went to the temple and he challenged the banking system of his day. He said, ‘you are thieves and marauders, you are wrong in what you are doing’.” On Ash Wednesday this year a group of San Francisco clergy spilled ashes outside a Wells Fargo ATM and called for a foreclosure sabbatical, invoking the Biblical term for the ancient practice of forgiving debts.

It is hard to exaggerate how poorly America’s banks have treated their customers throughout the financial crisis that saw about 4 million homes being foreclosed upon, and Father Rien’s voice crackles away as he discusses it.

The banks helped precipitate the financial collapse by selling mortgages to people who could never afford them. When the financial system collapsed they accepted a $US205 billion ($199.2 billion) bailout from taxpayers, but once refinanced they refused to help homeowners by modifying their mortgages.

”I actually went to a meeting in Washington and I said to Tim Geithner [the Treasury Secretary and author of the bank bailout], that he had to make them help, but he said there was nothing he could do. I was astounded,” says Father Rien.

But it was the outright fraud by America’s big banks that finally made Father Rien an activist for the first time since he was ordained 40 years ago.

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6 Responses to “Jesus Went to the Temple and Challenged the Banking System of His Day, Now it is Our Turn”
  1. Sal says:

    History tells us that Herod, the Temple builder, was a Roman convert to Judaism. It also tells us that the Sadducee vanished at the time Jesus followers, numbering in the many hundreds of thousands revolted in 70ad, many years after his death,These Sadducee were never to be seen or heard of again, as they were Romes ‘bankers’, while the money changers were Romes tax collectors. It really is what is happening today. Rome destroyed the Temple and slaughtered 1.5 MILLION Jewish commoners, in Jerusalem, in retaliation for following Jesus liberation movement. Today we are all Jews.

    • Sal says:

      ;These Sadducee were never to be seen or heard of again, as they were Romes ‘bankers’, while the money changers were Romes tax collectors.’ – Having vanished, been absorbed, into the safety of Roman protection. We must question if these Roman bankers and tax collectors were in fact anything more then Roman Jews, Roman agents posing as Temple Priests, deceiving the Jews, rather then Priests who became corrupted by Rome. I think both the Jewish Prophet Jesus, and the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, would agree.

  2. John says:

    Jesus used a whip to hit them with and drive them out.

    We cannot do that or we’ll go to jail, no matter how wrong they are.

    What we must have is an alternative for the whip we can beat them with? What can that be? It is a jury.

    12 men and women of our peers, just as wronged and pissed off at the banks and financial crooks as we are. That is a whip to be used in our defense legally and without penalty for using it!

    The sticking together of the common man is the most feared by all the wrong doers, even the courts supporting the wrongs for now. Watch them all change even more than they have recently when common man rises up together.

    What has happened is nothing new, this has played out many times all over the world many times with the same end. Bankers ultimately lose and common man wins.

    History repeating itself!!!

  3. Nye Lavalle says:


    • Eric says:

      The sad part is that the people working for the “banks” are the same people which one may see at “church” and “profess” to “believe” in “Jesus Christ” and they do what they do for a pay check and say things like “I just doing what I am told to do” ” Don’t blame me I do not make the rules” etc, etc.

      Then walk out the door and try to tell people about the saving grace of Christ and how God has blessed them and remind people to think positive all while they drop a donation in their local church and the “Pastor” says “thank you for your contribution; you are doing a good work in Christ” all the while both of them are really worshipping “money”.

      But as then it is now the money system is based on fraud and deceit and how anyone can work for a “bank” and go the “church” at the same time is amazing. It is like saying “Well honey I am off to work for the my “boss” today but it will be ok I am saved by Christ’s amazing Grace; so it does not matter what I do because Grace allows me to lose all my ability to reason and think without any accountablitity as we all are going to die anyway”.

      It will be interesting to see what happens to this “Father” as I always “thought” Bank of America was just another name for “Bank of the Vatican”.

      Have a great day.

      • To Tell The Truth says:

        I do not beleive that all the workers at the banks had any clue of what was happening. It appears from all the exposure that some departments were divided and not knowing what the other was doing; this allowed the banksters to maintain control over their fraudulent activities. So let us not judge these everyday employees who work for an honest wage. Let us get to the root and continue to expose the source giving nutrient to the roots and stop it. These people are also loosing their homes and finding out, albeit a few only, what some of the banks are all about…that is why God says to store up our treasures in Heaven, pay our tithes and offerings etc, all economic lessons so we do not depend on the banks.
        We use credit by choice…GOd says the borrower is servant to the lender…we have disobeyed and we are here in this mess..but only those who choose to stay in will do so.

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