Greg. Conclave. Forge. July 2001. c.432 p. ISBN 0-312-87352-2.
The Pope is dead, and the College of Cardinals has convened
to elect a new one. In the running is 64-year old archbishop
Timothy John Mulrennan, who finds himself under attack for
decades-old sins. As he analyzes the history of the Church
during the last half of the 20th century and the beginning
of the 21st, Tobin (The Wisdom of St. Patrick) unfolds the
archbishop’s life through a series of flashbacks—his
time as a spy in Cold War-era Berlin; a tour as chaplain in Viet Nam; his work
as a parish priest in Newark, N.J., during a period of civil unrest; and his
directorship of an abbey in New Mexico that ministers to problem priests. Throughout,
Mulrennan ponders questions of faith. His endless prayers and introspective moments
may put off some readers, but this is a well-researched history of the modern
Church and an excellent portrayal of a man of deep spirituality.