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Σάββατο, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2009

THE IDIOT By Dostoyevsky.



"Pavlicheff was a man of bright intellect and a good . Christian, a sincere Christian," said the prince,
suddenly. "How could he possibly embrace a faith which is unchristian? Roman Catholicism is, so to speak, simply the same thing as unchristianity," he added with
flashing eyes, which seemed to take in everybody in the room.
"Come, that's a little too strong, isn't it?" murmured the old man, glancing at General Epanchin in surprise. "How do you make out that the Roman Catholic religion is unchristian? What is it, then?" asked Ivan Petrovitch, turning to the prince.
"It is not a Christian religion, in the first place," said the latter, in extreme agitation, quite out of proportion to the necessity of the moment. "And in the second place, Roman Catholicism is, in my opinion, worse than Atheism itself. Yes, that is my opinion. Atheism only preaches a negation, but Romanism goes further; it preaches a disfigured, distorted Christ, it preaches Anti-Christ—, 1 assure you, I swear it!
This is my own personal conviction, and it has long distressed me. The Roman Catholic believes that the Church on earth cannot stand without universal temporal Power. He cries 'non possumus!' In my opinion the Roman Catholic religion is not a faith at all, but simply a continuation of the Roman Empire, and everything is subordinated to this idea, beginning with faith. The Pope has seized territories and an earthly throne, and has held them with the sword. And so the thing has gone on, only that to the sword they have added lying, intrigue, deceit, fanaticism, superstition, swindling; they have played fast and loose with the most sacred and sincere feelings of men; they have exchanged everything for money, for base earthly POWER! And is this not the teaching of Anti-Christ?
How could the upshot of all this be other than Atheism? Atheism is the child of Roman Catholicism, as it proceeded from these Romans themselves, though perhaps they would not believe it. It grew and fattened on hatred of its parents; it is the progeny of their lies and spiritual feebleness. Atheism! In our country, it is only among the upper classes that you find unbelievers; men who have lost the root or spirit of their faith; but abroad whole masses of the people are beginning to profess unbelief, at first because of the darkness and lies by which they were surrounded; but now out of fanaticism, out of loathing for the Church and Christianity!"
"Ihe prince paused to get breath. He had spoken with extraordinary rapidity, and was very pale. All present interchanged glances, but at last the old dignitary burst out laughing frankly. Prince N. took out his eye-glass to have a good look at the speaker.
The German poet came out of his corner and crept nearer to the table, with a spiteful srnile. "You exaggerate the matter very much," said Ivan Petrovitch, with rather a bored air. "'Ihere are, in the foreign Churches, many representatives of their faith who are worthy of respect and esteem."
"Oh, but I did not speak of individual representatives. I was merely talking about Roman Catholicism, and its essence—of Rome itself. A Church can never entirely disappear; I never hinted at that!..."

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