Eugene C. Bianchi, with James L. Hickey. The Bishop of San Francisco: Romance, Intrigue and Religion (2005) 264 pp. [tpo]
Publisher’s description: “Mark Doyle, a unique Catholic bishop, is a church reformer and a martial arts expert. He falls wildly in love with his therapist, Miriam Faberini, a Central American with Italian family roots. Mark and Miriam met during the Nicaraguan civil war. Such a love affair complicates a supposedly celibate bishop’s life, especially since Mark wants to continue his work as the youngest Archbishop of San Francisco. His troubles multiply when two of his priests are murdered: Gus d’Amato, a gay pastor in the city’s Castro district and Roger Moriarty, a close friend and liberation theology activist just returned from Latin America. A clandestine Catholic group, Ordo Novus, claims responsibility for both killings, and vows to eliminate Doyle as a symbol of corrupt liberalism and naïve leftist politics in the church. The Vatican denies any links to Ordo Novus, but calls Doyle to Rome to answer damaging allegations against him. His shadowy nemesis, a priest defrocked for sexually abusing teenage boys, dogs the Archbishop’s every step. His story displays deep tensions in priests’ personal lives and in the still medieval structures of today’s church.”