In Les Misérables, does the Bishop base his faith on divine morals or societal ones?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Bishop has a moral code, and believes that people ought to do what is "right".  However, that code is based directly on God, and not on what society says.  Society at that time says that if a person has committed a crime, they should be held responsible always.  It says that a person must follow the rules of the law.  The Bishop says that it matters not how "lawful" a person is, as long as that person is kind, generous and forgiving.  The Bishop sees himself as a messanger of God and as an overseer of the church, but he does not believe that he is in a position of power.  The church is for the people, any people who want  it, no matter their situation.  This is why he refuses to lock the gate, and why he so readily gives the silver to Valjean, knowing Valjean will use it to change his name and avoid parole.  He forgives Valjean, and expects Valjean to be "godly" from that point on - and his expectations are met.