Diary of a Country Priest, based on the novel by Georges Bernanos
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
Le Journal d’un Curé de Campagne has striking similarities with Sous Le Soleil de Satan.
When searching for reasons, I found that both are based on novels by the same genius:
- Georges Bernanos
And they are both chef d’oeuvres.
The New York Times Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made list includes Diary of a Country Priest:
Claude Laydu is excellent as the Priest of Ambricourt.
Le Curé is a strange, outré, outlandish character.
He seems to have the calling for his mission.
And yet he is not liked.
The local aristocrat, the count disapproves of him.
And so does the older priest of Torcy, a nearby village.
So the Country Priest has to face this “opposition „and a disease that torments him.
His stomach is causing pain.
The diet that the poor young man chooses does not help.
He seems to think that wine and bread are about the only things his stomach would tolerate.
But it is a very poor choice- I used to have ulcers and know that you cannot treat a stomach illness with that.
His health is deteriorating.
But the Country Priest is a saintly figure:
- Le Curé is a dedicated man who wants to live a life similar to the one of Christ
- He is good, peaceful and tries to help
- When talking to the rich woman of the village, he gives her the word of God
A modest man, this Country Priest is the role model and I would say the epitome of what a priest should be.
Alas, the ones I have met are the exact opposite:
- Greedy, vultures waiting in cemeteries to charge huge prices for services they can hardly render
- When my father died, the custom required all sorts of services and “pomeni” at the cemetery and church
- The city priests that I had to pay- exorbitant prices- were more like mobsters and hustlers than men of the church and could hardly speak, never mind sing the liturgy or anything for that matter
The Country Priest makes even a hardened atheist like the undersigned think about the Word of the Bible.
Le Curé is a haunted man.
He seems to have managed to transcend and find Absolution.
The Country Priest has shortcomings, but his modesty prevents him from pronouncing final judgments on people.
Indeed, he offers understanding and compassion, even when faced with ruthless and inexplicable aggression.
A teenager comes to him talking about murderous desires and plans to kill a close relative that she hates.
The Country Priest invites her to the confession booth, because such terrible statements are not to be pronounced in church.
This is not a cut and dried story.
When Le Curé tries to give solace and give the word of God to the rich woman of the village, the effect is devastating.
It made me think of The Psychological Effects of Religion as explained by Nathaniel Branden, who says that they are all…negative.