After gaining a dominant role in the Roman world, the ecclesiastical hierarchy moved away from propagated poverty. Churches turned into expensive palaces and bishops into wealthy patricians. The contradiction between the teaching of Christ and the practice of life was striking.
The pride of some hierarchs knew no bounds, and it was not ostentatious wealth that was most important. For example, Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, returning from exile, mounted a very modest donkey and surrounded himself with a line of believers, just like Christ entering Jerusalem.