Corruption of church officials may concern property or the manipulation of religious teachings to fit national or political aspirations. Accusations of corruption in the former category need not necessarily involve embezzlement or other forms of civil corruption. The possession and holding of wealth and the management of it in a similar manner to that of a commercial enterprise may be considered as corruption. Corruption may cause religious schism or anticlericalism and religious conflict. Religious influence may also be regarded as corruption or extending religious doctrines too far.
Accusations of corruption have been one of the main causes for religious schism ever since the Reformation.