3000. He did not use what would be Dostoevsky’s defense of Fedka. Perhaps you do not think Dostoevsky was defending his character Fedka in what he said about him. You would be wrong about that, however. Dostoevsky’s defense of Fedka begins with the first words we quoted about Fedka. Fedka said: “Well, you see sir, I went to the church with the idea of saying my prayers.”
Fedka, it turns out, humbly believes in God, and believes in the
teachings of the Russian Orthodox Church. He has these beliefs even
though he is a murder and a thief. Dostoevsky noticed, because of his
time spent in prison, that the worst criminals were often very devout.
They often have Bibles carefully underlined, with notations in the
margins of the pages. They pray for forgiveness of their sins, and hope
3002. Christianity has a special significance for thieves and murders, a significance unknown to ordinary people.
3003. The Friar made up this defense. Here is the argument, and I give it to you in full because of its importance not only for Faldoni, but because of its subsequent influence of medieval jurisprudence.