Papabile: The Man Who Would Be Pope (The Crossroad fiction program)

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9780824517304: Papabile: The Man Who Would Be Pope (The Crossroad fiction program)
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Hugo Ovath, a young soldier from a Communist country, is given an assignment to undermine the Catholic Church by becoming a priest and using his position of trust to advance the Communist Party cause

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From Booklist:

Hugo Ovath wants to be a hero. Coming of age in Eastern Europe after World War II, he offers his youthful idealism and enthusiasm to the Communist Party, whose vision of a better future dazzles him. Agreeing to help infiltrate the Catholic Church, he becomes a priest and eventually a cardinal vitally involved in negotations between the church and the new Communist government. But his conscience now troubles him. He cannot believe in God but begins to question the party. For he realizes that his utopian dreams have led him to hurt those he loves the most: his parents; his brother, Ferenc; his best friend, Jeno; his onetime lover Eva; and his mentor, Ladislaus. His idealism fades, and when the party, deciding he is no longer an asset, requests him to publicly leave the Church, he defects to Rome. It is not until Hugo is elected pope, however, that he confronts his guilt. Farrell offers a wry, ironic, and unnerving portrayal of the complex political and religious conflicts that helped shape postwar Eastern Europe. Bonnie Johnston

From Library Journal:

In the aftermath of World War II, young Communist Hugo Ovath is given an intriguing assignment by party leaders: infiltrate the Catholic Church and work from within to undermine people's faith. To do this, he must become a priest. Since life in his small village in Eastern Europe seems to offer no other opportunities, Hugo agrees. Alas, he's far too successful in his newfound profession. His actions and writings quickly cause him to be noticed with admiration by church leaders. Rising to bishop, Hugo comes to resent the Communist Party's stranglehold, but it's too late to turn back. Some swearing and sexual details may offend certain readers, but this is a thought-provoking look at a man floundering between his own love of power and a newfound belief in God. Recommended.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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