Pope Patrick

Pope Patrick

4.5 2
by Peter De Rosa
     
 

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The year is 2009. America has its first Catholic president since Kennedy. The planet's other superpower is the Federation of Islamic Republics, stretching from Morocco to Pakistan. And in Rome, the aging Polish Pope, obstinate and combative to the end, has died, and the conclave of cardinals must choose a successor. After a great deal of argument and debate, they… See more details below

Overview

The year is 2009. America has its first Catholic president since Kennedy. The planet's other superpower is the Federation of Islamic Republics, stretching from Morocco to Pakistan. And in Rome, the aging Polish Pope, obstinate and combative to the end, has died, and the conclave of cardinals must choose a successor. After a great deal of argument and debate, they choose the least controversial candidate, the least political, the one least likely to upset the Vatican status quo--Brian O'Flynn, a kindly old Irish priest who reads Yeats and publishes obscure academic theses. At the moment of his election, a 300-pound ornamental pillar falls on his head.

Then all hell breaks loose.

Pope Patrick is the riotous story of a mild-mannered country cardinal who—through a democratic election, a twist of fate, and a little help from his golden Lab, Charley—turns the Vatican upside down and throws the industrial world into chaos. He deals once and for all with the thorny issues of contraception, the celibacy of the clergy, and the infallibility of the pope; sends the Dow Jones tumbling, and the hopes of the downtrodden soaring-and in the process brings the world to the brink of catastrophe.

By turns funny, tender, exciting, and controversial, Pope Patrick is a scathingly brilliant, delightfully droll novel of principles, power, and faith-the story of the holiest, bravest, most likable pope since St. Peter.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 2009, a mild-mannered Irish cardinal is elected pope as a compromise candidate-and turns the Church and the world upside-down. Former Irish Catholic priest de Rosa (Bless Me Father) wrings gentle humor out of an easy target in this tale by contriving to have Brian Cardinal O'Flynn conked on the head by a pillar while being anointed pope. Prior to this accident, Brian was an undistinguished prelate whose chief distinction was his devotion to his Labrador, Charley. Indeed, the cardinals charged with electing a successor to Pope John Paul II select Brian as the first Irish pope, "Pope Pat," because he seems a solid, harmless choice. Recovering from his head injury, however, he starts issuing shockingly unexpected edicts. Some of de Rosa's humor is predictable, particularly the new pope's position on birth control and celibacy in the priesthood: "From now on, priests will be allowed to marry if they so wish and remain in the ministry." He does add several intriguing spins to Pope Patrick's tenets on sex and on the new balance of ecclesiastical power. The pace picks up when His Holiness issues equally uncompromising edicts on Vatican finances and nuclear proliferation, triggering a serious political crisis between the U.S. and a group of Islamic nations. Although the apocalyptic ending feels too abrupt and dark to jibe with the tolerant, tweaking tone of the rest of the story, this novel should find a ready readership among the decidedly iconoclastic congregation of American Catholics. (Mar.) FYI: Readers of de Rosa's novel Rebels may experience dj vu, since some material here has been taken verbatim from that book.
Library Journal
In this satirical novel, Irish author and former Catholic priest De Rosa (Rebels, Fawcett, 1992)-whose Bless Me Father, which he wrote as Neil Boyd in 1977, spawned the BBC television series of the same name-takes on papal politics and the future of the world in the third millennium. In 2009, Republican Catholic Roone Delaney has defeated Sylvester Stallone for the presidency; the Ice War has succeeded the Cold War, with power balanced between the United States and the militant Federation of Islamic Republics; and Pope John Paul II has just died. A fluke nomination and a deadlocked ballot result in the election of Irish Cardinal Brian O'Flynn as Pope Patrick, and then the fireworks start. In three encyclicals, Patrick takes on sex (permissible only for procreation), money (to be provided to the poor interest-free, an idea that shakes financial markets worldwide), and nuclear arms (immoral). Patrick is a loving and lovable character whose logic is unarguable and whose story is sometimes funny, sometimes moving, and too often painfully plausible. Thought-provoking entertainment; for most collections.-Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307804495
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/02/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
356,280
File size:
4 MB

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