Later that day, the priest comes to visit Henry, bringing vermouth and English newspapers. As the two men talk, Henry admits that he hates the war. The priest responds that there are two types of men: men who would make war and men who would not. Henry retorts that the first men make the second men do it, and adds that, as an officer, he helps the first men.
In his debate with Passini, Henry argued that the war was necessary. His experiences of war have now changed his mind. He is now disgusted with himself for participating in a system that kills innocent men like Passini.
As they continue to talk, the priest expresses a wish to return home to the Abruzzi, where "a man may love God. It is not a dirty joke." Henry responds that he does not love God or much of anything. The priest assures him that he has a capacity to love, and says that having sex with a woman is not the same as truly loving another person. When he loves another person, the priest tells him, he will wish to sacrifice for them.
For the first time, Henry declares his disconnection from the world. In the grim reality of war, he sees nothing worth loving or sacrificing for. The priest has faith in God, but understands that Henry's purpose lies in a more personal "religion" of love for another person.