Lead: In the Renaissance capital of Florence, Italy, the terrible and powerful voice of Fra Girolimo Savonarola was raised against corruption in both church and state. He also raised powerful enemies.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having helped create and nurture European civilization in the long centuries since the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Church of Rome by 1500 was the single unifying institution on the continent. Millions, high and low, saw in the Church the path to eternal salvation, worshipped in her precincts, contributed to her their treasure, and sought solace from a life that Thomas Hobbes would later describe as solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Despite the devotion of countless numbers, there was trouble in Zion. With clear justification, many considered the Church to be set at rot, absorbed by worldly obsessions, ensnared by political and military ambitions, hopelessly and morally bankrupt.

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