The Most Rev. Vincent G. Nichols is the Archbishop of Westminster, London. This article is adapted from a talk he delivered in April 2013 to The Saint Paul’s Institute, a London-based, non-profit organization that seeks to engage the financial world with questions of morality and ethics.

LONDON - The modern glass buildings of the Swiss Re Gherkin on July 28, 2007, in London, England. This tower is 180 meters tall and stands in the City of London Financial District. Copyright: donsimon
Vincent G. Nichols
The English author and journalist Will Self provides a dramatic image of the City of London's changing skyline. He likens it to a slow-motion firework display as new glass and steel skyscrapers rise and fall, sparkling for a few decades but—by implication at least—destined for ashes.