In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, the author wrote about an
imaginary pilgrimage on April 11, 1387 to Canterbury Cathedral to visit the tomb of
Saint Thomas A. Beckett. He also wrote about a dishonest monk.
The Monk was a man who looked as though he enjoyed the good life. He was fat,
and obviously enjoyed good food as well as fine clothes. He wore a fur cloak adorned
with fancy decorations, and other expensive apparel.
It was required that a man go to school to become a monk, and the Monk had
attended school to become part of the religious order. However, he was more interested
in hunting than studying. He was good to his horses, and had greyhounds as well. His
friends were hunters also. The Monk even preached against ideas and traditions that
called hunters unholy.
The Monk used church money for his own personal use. He had a big home and a
stable of horses which was bought with church funds. He also used church money to buy
his fine clothing and gold jewelry.
It did not fit into the Monk’s self-indulgent life to follow the tradition of the
church. He ignored the old and strict ways because he liked the modern world and the
indulgent lifestyle. He completely ignored the rulings of St. Benet and St. Maur.
The Monk was motivated by greed and the trappings of the modern world. He put
aside all the church rulings that did not suit him, and indulged in all the things the world
had to offer him in terms of comfort.