Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Trinity Game, by Sean Chercover

The novel features Catholic Priest Daniel Byrne who works for the Vatican's "office of the Devil's advocate" to investigate claims of miracles.   But there are plots afoot at the Vatican, with one group seeking to advance political and evangelical goals at any cost (including faking miracles), and another even more secretive group that might be good guys -- but it isn't clear.   A strong signal that another volume will follow.

In this novel, Father Byrne turns out to be a pretty crummy priest.  But perhaps a solid investigator.   He is called to investigate his long estranged uncle, a televangelist from New Orleans, who suddenly is predicting the future - well, at least some horse races - with troubling accuracy.

By the way:  the office of the Devil's advocate (advocatus diabolus) was formed by Pope Sixtus V in 1587, presumably in reaction to Pope John XVI who developed the model of canonization to be applied to himself on his own death.   The advocate's job was to argue against canonization, to make it more difficult to achieve sainthood.   Pope John Paul II may have had aspirations similar to Pope John XVI, as he abolished the office in 1983.   Some skeptics believe this was to assure Pope John Paul II's own ascent to sainthood, which occurred six years after his death.   Or he may have believed that the Church needed more saints:  after this change, John Paul II was able to canonize ~500 people and beatify >1300.   In contrast, prior to the change, only 98 people were so recognized by John Paul II's predecessors in the 20th century.

The Trinity Game

No comments: