Monday, December 21, 2009

The Renaissance Popes, Lehavdil, Lehavdil

I've been thinking some about the recent chareidi scandals. Some thoughts that I don't have a good answer to...

Are the gedolim actually corrupt or are we seeing some bad apples?

If they are corrupt, is this just a period (like the Renaissance popes) where there is corruption in the religious leadership, or is it possible that the gedolim have always been corrupt? Because, let's face it, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it could just be that prior to the age of mass information dissemination, it was a lot easier to control the message... If that is the case, how far back would the corruption go?

PS - no music today. Hum something Christmasy to yourselves.


Blogger Izgad said...

What I often tell my students about the medieval and Renaissance Church is that it was consisted of both a political body and a religious body. The Church as a political body was not really any different than any other political body. It was not a matter of the Church being corrupt. You should not be any more shocked to hear about cardinals and popes having mistresses than you would to hear about kings and noblemen having them. Keep in mind that the people in the Church hierarchy were usually simply the younger brothers of those same kings and noblemen and were about as pious as their older siblings.

December 21, 2009 2:49 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...


Yes - this is an important point. How many of today's gedolim are gedolim because of merit vs yichus?

December 21, 2009 3:26 PM  
Blogger Izgad said...

So if you got in just because of politics to begin with you are licensed to behave like a scumbag. People should get the leadership they deserve.

December 21, 2009 5:33 PM  

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