If You Love Me, You Will Do My Will

Stephen G. Michaud, Author, Hugh Aynesworth, With
Stephen G. Michaud, Author, Hugh Aynesworth, With W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (383p) ISBN 978-0-393-02762-4
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
None of the key participants comes off well in this tale of legal feuding, greed, sanctimoniousness and self-interest. Sarita East, pious, alcoholic, a widow and Texas cattle rancher, fell under the spell of Brother Leo Gregory, a fund-raising, charismatic Trappist monk whom some have called a Svengali. He learned that beneath East's ranch lay pools of oil, valued at half a billion dollars. Upon her death in 1961, Brother Leo claimed control of the fortune. His friend, industrialist J. Peter Grace, the Trappists' business mentor, soon had a falling-out with the monk over the direction East's foundation should take. Other parties with a vested interest in her millions included her lawyer, the Roman Catholic Church and four warring brothers. The legal battle, fought over nearly three decades, engendered a web of intrigue that drew in Francis Cardinal Spellman and several popes. Michaud and Aynesworth, coauthors of The Only Living Witness , recreate a tangled affair with panache and keen irony. Photos. (Mar.)
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