Catholic Critic of the Church. Desiderius Erasmus: In Praise of Folly
Q) What criticisms did Desiderius Erasmus make of the institutional church?
A) Desiderius criticized the practices of the institutional church quite a bit and disapproved a lot of the practices that were taking place. Some of his criticisms included the argument that Christians were extremely self-loving and held themselves in great high regards over others. Desiderius criticized the Christians for thinking that they were better than everybody else and for acting as if nobody else was as good as they were. He gives an example of Monks and Priests and how they would commonly be called “religious”, but claims that they are very far removed from religion. Desiderius says that even though everyone despises these men and would not want to meet them, they still hold a very high opinion of themselves. In the following quote found on page 310, Desiderius explains the criticism that he has towards the monks and priests: “Moreover, when they roar out their psalms in church like braying asses (counting their prayers indeed, but understanding them not at all)”
In the reading, Desiderius further criticize the church practices when he talks about the absurdity of collection plates within the church. He felt that it was illogical for people to think that by simply giving a coin to the church it would allow them to be able to abolish their sins. Desiderius felt that Christians were under such delusions throughout their entire lives that they promised themselves anything and everything they wanted within their religion. Toward the conclusion of this reading, I think Desiderius summed up his criticisms perfectly when he stated the following about the thoughtlessness of the Christians: “some businessman or soldier or judge who thinks that if he throws into a collection basket one coin from all his plunder, the whole cesspool of his sinful life will be immediately wiped out. He thinks all his...