Perhaps once in a generation is there a novel that will touch the hearts and challenge the souls of people everywhere. Conclave is just such a novel. Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, Timothy John Mulrennan is a typical American of the post-WWII generation. Since childhood he has known a deep and abiding faith in God that leads him to a career as a priestand propels him onto the stage of world events that includes the election of the first Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic church in the third millennium. Along the way he encounters some remarkable characters: Henry Martin Vennholme, leader of the conservative lay movement called Evangelium Christi; Rachel Seredi, a beautiful artist from Hungary who falls in love with Bishop Mulrennan and gives him the greatest gift a woman ever could; Cardinal Leandro Biagi, a wily and urbane politician who would have been at home in the time of the Medicis and Borgias; and Jaime de Guzman, the Archbishop of Manila, the one man who speaks in the Americans defense and who pays the ultimate price for his honesty and faith in God. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
Whenever a Catholic priest shows up in a TV movie, it's an odds-on bet the plot involves sex or the seal of the confessional. The same holds true for this novel about American Cardinal Timothy Mulrennan, which is unabashedly reminiscent of the mid-century classic The Cardinal. Favored with the friendship of John Paul II, Mulrennan finds himself in line to succeed the Polish pope after his death. But he is also a lightning rod who draws the attacks of the Church's conservative wing; during the conclave in 2002 to elect a new pope, Mulrennan is attacked in the press by agents of Evangelium Christi, a conservative movement headed by another American, Cardinal Vennholme. Mulrennan has a couple of dirty secrets in his past, and their revelation would be a lot more dramatic if author Tobin hadn't deliberately stacked the deck in his main character's favor. When Mulrennan is blessed with visions of former popes or when his chief opponent is explicitly compared to Judas Iscariot, there's little doubt how the reader is supposed to feel. In much the same way that all hard questions become rhetorical when answered by blind faith, all questions of character and motivation become moot here. In Tobin's Vatican, there's very little of the crackling politics and vital theological debate that made Malachi Martin's The Final Conclave such a compelling read. (July) Forecast: Old-school Catholics and particularly those eager to speculate about the identity of the next pope are the core readership for this novel, which probably won't make much of a splash with general audiences. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
June 30, 2001
Number of Print Pages*
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.