The end for the priest draws nigh and arrives and betrayed and hated he manages to sow the seeds of doubt in his enemies and sow the seeds of love in his passing as he defends what he believes in until the end. His search for a confessor is ironically half fulfilled by the police lieutenant who has been perusing him and hates him and all he stands for. Greene also masterly pulls back from focusing on the priest in the final stages and shows how his death impacts people in the town and shows the power of the church and its persistence undermining everything the authorities believe they are achieving.
Bullet points between pages 164 – 220
* Having allowed himself to be taken back across the border by the Judas who tells him the American criminal the police have been hunting concurrently with him is dying and wants to have a priest the trap is set and he walks into it
* The criminal dies and then the lieutenant who has been pursuing him enters the hut and tells him he is under arrest for treason and then the journey back to the city starts interrupted by a theological and political discussion between the two men
* Back in the city the priest asks for someone to confess to but the priest in the town who is married and has accepted the humiliation heaped on him by the authorities fails in this last act of friendship and goes back to his slow death of daily failure
* The priest dreams of friendship, rescue and regrets for his daughter and his life and wakes in the morning ready to face the firing squad and the end but it is told by the parents of the girl who helped him, she must have died, and then from the window of Tench’s surgery
* One family, those who must have helped him at the start are talking about the priest and the lieutenant walks by and the boy who has just read of the martyrs spits at him and later that night there is a knock at the door and he thinks it might be the policeman coming back for revenge but it turns out to be another priest ready to come and risk his life
A full review will follow in the next couple of days…