The House of the Spirits
by Isabel Allende
Father Restrepo, Father Antonio, and Father Jose Dulce María
This novel contains three priestly characters, who offer very different portrayals of the Catholic Church. Father Restrepo, the overly-zealous Jesuit in the first chapter, stirs his disciples into a fanatic frenzy with his fire-and-brimstone sermons. Father Antonio is the priest who hears Férula's confession and guards the secret of her whereabouts from the Trueba family. He seems like a traditionally conservative priest whose interest in Férula's tales of Esteban and Clara's sexual games indicates that he might be a bit repressed. And Father Jose Dulce María is the religious revolutionary who transforms Biblical parables into Socialist propaganda. For Father Jose Dulce María, "the Holy Church is on the right, but Jesus Christ was always on the left" (5.44).