A tense and excited throng gather to see if the new government will be overthrown for a return to the previous one. Will the new Christian government win out over the ancient autocracy? It all seems to hinge on whether a Dominican monk can perform a miracle.
The Franciscan monks support the old regime, while the Dominicans support the new one. A challenge has been put forth to see which side will win. A monk from each side will literally have to run a gauntlet of flames, as CBS reporters point out, it’s an ancient barbaric contest and not something founded in Christian teachings. So what will it really prove? A dramatic word picture unfolds as CBS reporters describe the scene of chanting monks with both flame and swords, marching to confront each other.
On another tack, the reporters interview some of the players to learn about the worth of the new government, and reports that it has been bad, and oppressive to the common man. Accusations are hurled, the emotions of the crowd runs high. Political posturing, and claims of being heretics, or antichrist are hurled. Isn’t there anybody who can provide objective answers? Is this a demonstration of how not to let Christian ideals apply to civic government? Is it only a power struggle where corrupt religious leaders want the glory of men, and to impose their own ideas?
The main attraction remains the ordeal of the monks, and armed with only prayers and devotions, they prepare themselves. CBS reporters give a ringside, blow by blow account of the trial by fire. Who will emerge unscathed? What if they both die in the fire? What if they both survive? Stand by for the surprise ending, and what it means for the future of the Florentine government.