The Brothers Karamazov

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Table Eight: The Catholic Church

One man, an Old Believer, sits bitterly, listening to the brouhaha.  “The Grand Inquisitor is correct about one thing:  the Catholic Church has aligned itself with the devil, under the claim that they can correct the mistakes of Christ.  When Christ rejected the three temptations, he left man vulnerable to ungodly influences – and the Catholic Church, taking the devil’s lead, stepped in to lead man.  The Church accepted the sword of authority when it elected a pope.  In doing so, it defied Christ’s teaching and made way for evil.  The Inquisitor says so himself:  “Freedom, free reason, and science will lead [humans] into a maze, and confront them with such miracles and insoluble mysteries, that some of them, unruly and ferocious, will exterminate themselves, others, unruly but feeble, will exterminate each other; and the remaining third, feeble and wretched, will crawl to [the church’s] feet and cry out to us, ‘Yes, you were right, you alone possess his mystery, and we are coming back to you – save us from ourselves’” (258).   How sad that Our Lord made us vulnerable to this atrocity!”

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