Quotation by Victor Hugo

Monasticism, as it existed in Spain and still exists in Tibet, is a wasting disease of civilization. It puts a stop to life. Quite simply, it depopulates. Claustration is castration. It has been the scourge of Europe. Add to this the violence so often inflicted on the conscience, the enforced vocations ... the closed mouths and minds, so much intelligence condemned to the imprisonment of vows for life, the burial of living souls. No matter who you are, the thought of so much suffering and degradation must cause you to shudder at the sight of a veil or cassock, those two shrouds of human invention.
Victor Hugo (1802–1885), French poet, dramatist, novelist. Les Misérables, pt. 2, bk. 7, ch. 3 (1862).
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