Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

The Bishop, like, of San Francisco

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Oct 20, 2005

The covers of this book are too far apart. -- Ambrose Bierce, reviewing a long-forgotten work.

Hey, why should Andy Greeley monopolize the trash cash? Ex-Jesuit Eugene Bianchi boots up the Mac and tries his hand at the novel-writing business. Below is the synopsis from the promo site (no, I'm not making this up):

Mark Doyle, a unique Catholic bishop, is a church reformer and a martial arts expert. He falls wildly in love with his therapist, Miriam Faberini, a Central American with Italian family roots. Mark and Miriam met during the Nicaraguan civil war. Such a love affair complicates a supposedly celibate bishop's life, especially since Mark wants to continue his work as the youngest Archbishop of San Francisco. His troubles multiply when two of his priests are murdered: Gus D'Amato, a gay pastor in the city’s Castro district and Roger Moriarty, a close friend and liberation theology activist just returned from Latin America. A clandestine Catholic group, Ordo Novus, claims responsibility for both killings, and vows to eliminate Doyle as a symbol of corrupt liberalism and naïve leftist politics in the church.

The fiendish cunning!

The Vatican denies any links to Ordo Novus, but calls Doyle to Rome to answer damaging allegations against him. His shadowy nemesis, a priest defrocked for sexually abusing teenage boys, dogs the Archbishop’s every step. Catholic clergy might deny any similarity to the controversial Doyle. Yet his story displays deep tensions in priests' personal lives and in the still medieval structures of today’s church.

"A fun read you will not be able to put down until you finish," gurgles Rosemary Radford Ruether, in a moment of inspired originality. Your Uncle Di is finished already. He was doing OK until the blurb line "Mark and Miriam met during the Nicaraguan civil war."

So, folks, how do you think Miramax will cast the film version? I'd give Dom DeLuise the title role and assign Pee Wee Herman the part of Miriam, the Sandinista shrink. The Ordo Novus could play itself. All suggestions gratefully, gratefully received.

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