The Hypocrisy of Religion Essay

The Hypocrisy of Religion Essay

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Religious leaders ought to be the epitome of goodness and morality and are supposed to live lives worthy of emulation. Yet, in Voltaire’s Candide and Goethe’s Faust, the church is infested with hypocrisy what with religious leaders being hypocritical characters that are corrupt, greedy and immoral. These are seen in so many instances in both texts as will be discussed below.
High–ranking church officials, according to Voltaire, are deeply engrossed in promiscuity as depicted in the lines, “I am infact the daughter of Pope Urban the Tenth and the Princess of Palestrina” (535). The fact that the Pope, despite his vows of celibacy as a priest and leader of the Catholic Church, has a mistress and a daughter (the Old Woman) is very hypocritical. In another instance, Voltaire talks about a man (Dr. Pangloss) who contracts a sexually transmitted disease indirectly from a religious leader through the maid, Parquette. He writes that “Parquette received this present from an erudite Franciscan…who acquired it from a marquise…who caught it from a Jesuit…” (525-526). This is quite appalling sin...

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