by Albert Camus
The Plague Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Stuart Gilbert's translation.
Tarrou, when told by Rieux what Paneloux had said, remarked that he’d known a priest who had lost his faith during the war, as the result of seeing a young man’s face with both eyes destroyed.
"Paneloux is right," Tarrou continued. "When in innocent youth can have his eyes destroyed, a Christian should either lose his faith or consent to having his eyes destroyed. Paneloux declines to lose his faith, and he will go through with it to the end. That’s what he meant to say." (4.4.23-4)
Tarrou recognizes that Paneloux is indeed in a tough position, but has chosen to back God – innocent child dying and all – instead of renounce his faith. At least, this is ostensibly Paneloux’s decision. From what we see of the priest’s death, we have to decide whether or not he is truly committed to his faith.
The lady […] took no thought for he personal security, which was in God’s hands—but […] she felt a certain measure of responsibility for the Father’s welfare while he was under her roof. (4.4.27)
Paneloux’s elderly housemate manages to fulfill her social obligation to Paneloux and her personal, religious obligation to God. Yet Paneloux had trouble finding this balance in his own life.
The only thing she gathered, and it was precisely this that appeared to her so incomprehensible, was that the Father refused to hear of a doctor’s visit because it was against his principles. (4.4.27)
Apparently Paneloux’s paper concluded that it is indeed wrong for a priest to consult a doctor. That, or he had a pre-mortem change of heart.