Dante to College Administrators: On Debt

“I do not know if then I was too bold when I answered him in just this strain: ‘Please tell me, how much treasure did our Lord insist on from Saint Peter before He gave the keys into his keeping? Surely He asked no more than ‘Follow me.’

“So says Dante to Pope Nicholas. The pontiff is in torment in Dante’s hell for simony: profiting from selling church offices for money. Others will join him soon and he is only the latest of many before he came. Dante shows him upside down, feet in the air, because this false shepherd has loved money more than God or God’s people. He has turned the non-profit work of the church to profit and so inverted the calling of the church.

“Only a master as great as Dante can combine beautiful poetry with a jeremiad against the church that was so true, good, and lovely that Christians called his comedy divine.” […]    –John Mark N. Reynolds, Patheos, March 30, 2019

“Lumen Fidei” Encyclical

popes-benedict-and-francis“In the first papal encyclical co-written by two popes — one more conversational, the other more intellectual — Pope Francis on Friday issued a rich meditation on faith and love, calling on believers and seekers alike to explore how their lives could be enriched by God. […] In addition to citing the Old Testament and the Gospel, the text refers to Dante and the philosophers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Friedrich Nietzsche; for the latter, faith was associated with darkness, not light. It also refers to T.S. Eliot and the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber’s exploration of idolatry. […]”    –Rachel Donadio, The New York Times, July 5, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns, February 11, 2013

pope-benedict-xvi-resignsOn NBC’s Today Show the correspondent from Rome mentions that this is first resignation of a Pope since Celestine V in 1294, who Dante may have been indicating when he referred to the sinner among the Undecided (Inferno 3) who made the “great refusal.”
Many other reporters and commentators discussing Benedict XVI’s resignation are also mentioning Dante’s supposed (but debated among scholars) placement of Celestine V in Hell. See, for example, Carol Zaleski’s piece in the New York Times, February 11, 2013.

Contributed by Julie Heyman