The Hounds of Rome - Mystery of a Fugitive Priest
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Father Steve Murphy, a Roman Catholic priest, pastor of a parish in an affluent suburb of Washington, DC, revered by his parishioners, believes he is about to be elevated to Monsignor. But, out of the blue, he is transferred without explanation to a temporary university teaching post. Shortly after, he is ordered to a prison-like correctional monastery deep in the Sonora Desert of Arizona. Murphy knows that he has been a devout priest and is puzzled and angry that he has been thrown in with the derelicts of the Catholic clergy. At the monastery, he finds that he has been cast among the pedophiles, alcoholics, embezzlers and other serious offenders who the church hierarchy is pressuring to resign or be defrocked. Convinced that God wants him to continue his ministry, he escapes. Murphy is now a fugitive, pursued by monks from the monastery who are little more than thugs with others to "do whatever it takes" to stop him and return him to the monastery, or even kill him, if necessary. Why, Steve Murphy asks himself, is his church doing this to him?
ministerial duties have been revoked, I’m not aware of it.” “Where are you staying now, Steve?” “I’m at a small hotel—The Royal Saint-Michel in the Latin Quarter. I’ll only be here for a week or two because I’m heading to Israel, to the Holy Land, to do some meditating and probably a bit of sightseeing.” “Since it’s quite unlikely that I will get an answer while you’re still in Paris, I’ll contact you in Israel. Have you found a place to stay there?” “Yes, I’ll be at a guest house in
Spanish Steps on a narrow street a few blocks behind the Via Condotti. After reaching the central city, he would have taken a taxi for the last leg of his journey, but as usual the cabs were on strike for the better part of the day. He loved Rome—dirty, noisy, yet endlessly fascinating. An impossible jumble of the crumbling remains of ancient Rome, modern upscale stores, noisy nightmarish automobile traffic, magnificent sculptured fountains, saucy mini-skirted women on spike heels, children
legs. It was one of those long inside thigh cramps. The pain was excruciating. Since he couldn’t stand and walk it off, he lay down flat and massaged it. When the cramp subsided, he sat up on the rocky floor, legs extended along the passageway. He leaned against the sidewall. A half hour passed. Then an hour. He decided they had gone. One arm bleeding, miserable and cold, he struggled back to his cot where he slept almost until noon the next day. Angelo told him they never found the small
Henrietta said guardedly. “And I’m sure you don’t approve. I hear you might be taking action to have us excommunicated.” “No, that’s not true. I never said I was going to try to excommunicate anyone. That’s the pope’s role, not mine.” “But you are the instrument of the pope.” “That’s correct, but let me put it this way—you’re kidding yourselves if you think your Masses are real—if they have any real meaning. But, I’m curious. I could understand your difficulty when there was no priest
not old enough to remember it, but of course I’ve read about it.” “I was only a kid myself,” Steve replied, “but I recall seeing a movie-house newsreel of hundreds of Catholic cardinals and bishops from all over the world and all races gathered in Rome, together with bishops from the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches. It was the landmark of the century. I recall the words of John XXIII who referred to the Council as letting a little fresh air into the church.” “Yes, I read that the