• A seller of indulgences or pardoner was one of the most important positions in the Catholic Church. It was thought necessary to go through a pardoner in order to be forgiven of sins and thus go to heaven. Therefore pardoners did preach on sins and judgment, but the irony in this tale by one of that office is that the sin he is censuring is the sin that he is committing. He speaks out against greed and avarice, but does not first check himself for it.
• He tells the tale of three ‘friends’ who end up murdering each other because of gold lust, but first he tells exactly how he would tell the tale in a church and how the money would come in after words. By ‘allowing’ the poor church folk to be free of their greed he feeds his own. The pardoner even goes as far as to offer indulgences to his companions upon the completion of his story.