Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, Timothy John Mulrennan has known since childhood a deep and abiding faith in his God and his Church that leads him to a career as a priest-and propels him onto the stage of world events that include the Second Vatican Council, the Vietnam War, and the election of the first Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic church of the third millennium. Along the way he encounters some of the most remarkable characters in contemporary fiction: Henry Martin Vennholme, leader of the conservative lay movement called Evangelium Christi, and Mulrennan's bitterest enemy within the church . . . Rachel Seredi, a beautiful artist from Hungary who falls in love with Bishop Mulrennan and gives him the greatest gift a woman ever could . . . Cardinal Leandro Biagi, a wily and urbane politician who would be at home in the time of the Medicis and Borgias . . . and Jaime de Guzman, the Archbishop of Manila and longtime friend of Tim Mulrennan's, the one man who speaks in the American's defense during the divided conclave and who pays the ultimate price for his honesty and faith in God.