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by Dante Alighieri

Paradiso Politics Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Canto.Line). We used Allen Mandelbaum's translation.

Quote #10

[St. Benedict]: "But even heavy usury does not
offend the will of God as grievously
as the appropriation of that fruit
which makes the hearts of monks go mad with greed;
for all within the keeping of the Church
belongs to those who ask it in God's name,
and not to relatives or concubines.
The flesh of mortals yields so easily –
on earth a good beginning does not run
from when the oak is born until the acorn." (Par. XXII, 78-87)

One of the major political sins of the clerics is their yielding to bribery and selling of indulgences (or absolution) for money.

Quote #11

[Adam to Dante] …"My son,
the cause of my long exile did not lie
within the act of tasting of the tree,
but solely in my trespass of the boundary." (Par. XXVI, 115-117)

For God's law, as for all laws, one's crime does not lie necessarily in doing some deed (in Adam's case tasting the fruit), but in knowingly and willfully crossing the boundary agreed upon by both parties as law. Such a step is a violation of the contract God has made with man.

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