Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Today’s Question by the reader : Elizabeth

Author: Paulo Coelho

What does Jesus Christ mean to you?

In my book, The Witch of Portobello, the main character, Athena, at one point can’t take the communion. This is for her a turning point where she understands that inside the catholic dogma there’s no space for true forgiveness, that the Church has inflexible rules that sadly too often exclude believers.

I remembered, while writing this scene a passage from Dostoyevsky’s … where the inquisitor feels obliged to incarcerate Jesus because he’s not “convenient” for the clerical institution.

So, for me, as I wrote in my book, Jesus is the one that is standing outside the church, telling Athena, as well as all the people that are excluded and repudiated by the strict dogmas of the church:

‘My child, I’ve been excluded too. It’s a very long time since they’ve allowed me in there.’

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