Unsaintly Saintliness by Steven Faulkner

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Unsaintly Saintliness

Steven Faulkner on Graham Greene's Whisky Priest

Two or three decades ago I read Graham Greene's novel The Power and the Glory. I didn't like it. Greene's protagonist, the "whisky priest," is so self-critical, so completely self-incriminating, that there seemed no space left for the intervention of grace in his life, no vestige of power or glory. His mind and soul are crowded with self-loathing; he is an alcoholic, and he has conceived a child by a village woman. He realizes that he loves the child who is the fruit of his mortal sin, and this love of the bastard child seems . . .