"the kings [of Italy] are the merchants. And their weapon is money ... even priests, bishops, even religious orders have to take money into account. That is why, naturally, rebellion against power takes the form of a call to poverty."
Umberton Eco, The Name of the Rose pp. 127-8.
A hard quotation, but one worth wrestling with! Eco's first book is still his best. It shows (if only in its backdrop) the church unable to come to terms with the radical revival of St Francis (although, importantly, Francis remained within the church).
Money is power and the church is bought into power (note the metaphor here!) in many different ways. Philip Goodchild's book Money and Religion is very important on this (if you can get past the post-modern speak). He's speaking at a conference I'm organising next month called 'Globalising God'. See the website here .