The Decameron is centrally focused on stories about love, so not surprisingly, many of the corruptions of the Catholic clergy, both male and female, involve an inability to control their sexual appetites. This sin is worse for the clergy than laypeople, as nuns and priests have taken vows of celibacy and are supposed to be married to Christ and the Church. However, sexual lewdness is depicted as widespread among the clergy.
For example, in the fourth tale, a monk is having sex with a young woman in his room when he realizes his abbot is watching. He quickly makes an excuse to leave, gives the abbot his room key, and then watches as the abbot has sex with the young woman. The monk can use this to blackmail the abbot. However, the abbot and the monk work together, often bringing the woman back into the monastery.
The critique of the church goes beyond its failure to maintain sexual purity. In the first tale, Ser Ciappelletto, a very corrupt man, manages to become a saint that the faithful...
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