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- Why does Father Suarez tell Richard he cannot be absolved?
- Father Suarez has a side business, not necessarily with Jacob. Note that the purse went into his hand. There's a benefit to keeping a prisoner off guard, in this case by telling him he can't be forgiven.
- I can't disagree, especially since the point of choosing Richard was because of his familiarity with English. But Jacob did admit to bringing Richard to the Island and it wouldn't be against him to use agents like this.
- Jacob doesn't specifically say that he brought Richard. When he said 'you' he meant the Black Rock. Certainly, the way the conversation goes he isn't even bringing anyone in particular to the Island at that point- just whoever is passing
- The whole point of his statement about being unable to absolve Richard's sin wasn't because he was corrupt/not a priest/untheologically sound, but as a literary device for Richard's perspective of the Island. Father Suarez tells Richard that he cannot be forgiven of his sins and therefore he will go to hell, so Richard's fear now is of going to hell. If he had absolved Richard's sin and arranged for him to be sold into slavery, then Richard would be less inclined to believe the MiB. And, as it has been previously noted, the Black Smoke looks inside of people and judges them, so he would have seen Richard's peace, his knowledge of his innocence, his knowing that he will see his wife soon. There's really nothing that he could do with that. If he was afraid of hell, then the rest would follow suit. So in conclusion, the priest played a rather important role in what would happen to Richard, regardless of what his intentions were.
- It would have to be something along those lines. Suarez could have been a corrupt jailer rather than a corrupt priest if the writers just wanted him to sell Richard into slavery. There has to be a reason why he was made a priest, and clearly it revolves around Richard wanting absolution and fearing Hell. It seems like a long ways to go just to back up Richard believing that he's in Hell, though. Could there be more to it?
- And think about this, Fr. Suarez took Richard's Bible with him when he left Richard in his cell. Later actions maybe proved that he knew Richard was learning English (the English Bible was proof to Hanso) and that presented a whole other opportunity (monetarily) to Fr. and he told Richard the worst possible news because he had all along planned to sell him to Hanso upon knowing he spoke English. Speaking English seemed to be pretty freakin' important when he met with his "buyer".
- Or it could be Occam's razor. Simplest explanation is the right one. He is a corrupt priest working at a prison who took money for a slave. Jacob didn't know who Richard was when he first saw him. He is just some guy. Stop looking for meaning where there is none.
- If that were the case the entire confession part could have been cut and a priest need not be involved. A fear of hell is not necessary for Ricardo to be sold into slavery. And whoever "owned" him as a result of his capital crime is apparently free to sell Ricardo to whomever they choose, regardless of the state of Ricardo's soul. The only person to gain advantage by Ricardo fearing Hell is the man in black. The priest wouldn't get more money for it and has no incentive to mislead Ricardo under your simple explaination.