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The Power and the Glory
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The Power and the Glory

The Power and the Glory is a novel written by British author Graham Greene.

The title is an allusion to the doxology often added to the end of the Lord's Prayer: "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever, amen."

Warning: Plot details follow.

The novel tells the story of a Roman Catholic priest in the state of Tabasco in Mexico during the 1930s, a time when the Mexican government strove to repress the church in several areas of the country.

The main character in the story is a "whisky priest", Padre José, who combines a great power for self-destruction with pitiful cravenness, a almost painful penitence and a desperate quest for dignity. The other character is a lieutenant of the police who is given the task of hunting down this priest. This lieutenant is based upon Gov. Tomás Garrido Canabal, a passionate socialist who was a fervent anti-cleric and succeeded in closing all the churches in the state and forcing the priests to marry and give up their gowns, making a hitherto conservative and staid state a revolutionary model.

Greene, in writing this novel, seems interested in the idea of the power of the Catholic sacraments, and suggests that they still have the potential to change lives for the better, no matter how frail and sinful the life of the priest administering them.  

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