The Accidental Pope

Raymond Flynn, Author, Robin Moore, Author, Robin Moore, Joint Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-312-26801-5
Writing in uninspired ""what-if"" mode, ex-U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Flynn and Moore (The French Connection) jam yet another tale of Triumphant Good through the eye of the millennial needle. Following the death of Pope John Paul II, the College of Cardinals convenes to elect a new pope. While the whole world watches, an Irish cardinal named Comiskey tells a moving story about his seminary friend Bill Kelly, an ex-priest-turned-fisherman, who once saved a group of fellow seminarians from drowning. Unable to reach a consensus after seven days, the cardinals end up casting their votes for the able fisherman. Bill himself has a vision that foretells his good fortune, and although he is a widower with four children, he takes up the mandate and the name of Peter, and heads for Rome with his family. Once established, Pope Peter II/Bill sets out to make everyone happy: the Jews, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Northern Irish Protestants, even homosexuals. Although some interesting modern Church issues are touched on frankly here, such as the controversial deeds of Pius XII and the Catholic and Orthodox conflicts of interest in Africa, theocratic tub-thumping and leaden dialogue sink a feel-good story that's hard to feel good about. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
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