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Title / Description: Diabolical Indulgence FeastCommentary: This image demonizes the Catholic clergy and their promotion of indulgences. Inside the mouth of the giant demon (who could also represent the jaws of Hell), we see a group of clerics feasting around a table, enjoying the profits they make from the promotion of indulgences. The grotesque central figure is sitting on a bull of indulgence, wearing a monk's cowl, and has one foot inside a pail of holy water. The coffer in his right hand could signify the profits made from indulgence and/or the treasury of merit. On the left, we see more clerics arriving to join the party, and one of them is none other than the pope, wearing his papal tiara, holding the key to the treasury of merit in his hand. He is being propelled through the air by a demon who is farting. The cooking for the feast is taking place on the devil's head. This image graphically depicts, in Protestant terms, the demonic nature of the Catholic church, its clergy, and rituals. It also conveys the message that the Catholic clergy are exploiting the laity.
Object Type: image - woodcut
Author of Commentary: Carlos Eire
Source: Scribner, Robert W. For the Sake of Simple Folk
(Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 1981)