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The Mole of Vatican Council II The True Story of "Xavier Rynne"

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The Mole of Vatican Council II
The True Story of "Xavier Rynne"

The Mole of Vatican Council II is historical fiction at its best, based closely on the eyewitness accounts of the late Father Francis X. Murphy, who found himself in Rome in 1962 at the start of the Second Vatican Council and chronicled its proceedings and political intrigue for The New Yorker magazine in his "Letter from Vatican City" series under the pseudonym "Xavier Rynne."
The book follows the furious efforts of the Vatican's Congregation of the Holy Office (successor to the ancient "Holy Inquisition") to unmask Rynne's true identity and make him pay for his perceived disloyalty. It provides rich detail about the unlikely election of Pope John XXIII, chosen as a transitional pope, whose dream of launching Vatican Council II became a reality during his brief papacy. It also follows the challenges of his successor, Pope Paul VI, to keep Vatican II alive despite the subversive efforts of certain powerful cardinals in the Roman Curia who were determined to destroy it - and came perilously close to succeeding.
The Mole of Vatican Council II weaves a riveting, original storyline about the momentous gathering of 2,500 cardinals and bishops from around the world - as observed in real time by one courageous young American priest. A compelling, eye-opening read, not just for Catholics but for those of all faiths and non-believers alike. The ending is in doubt until the very last pages!

Format: Paperback book
Product code: AP467326
Dimensions: 5½" x 8½"
Length: 307 pages
ACTA Publications
ISBN: 9780879467326
Written by Richard A. Zmuda


Ingeniously creative...extremely entertaining.

Robert Ellsberg, author, All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time

This thrilling race through the perilous course that was Vatican II makes you "get" the Council like never before. You. Are. There.

Alice Camille, author, Introduction to Catholicism and The Forgiveness Book


Richard Zmuda has co-authored a pair of non-fiction books for cancer survivors (I Flunked My Mammogram: What Every Woman Needs To Know About Breast Cancer; I Flunked My PSA: What You Need To Know About Prostate Cancer Now!). For twenty years he served as the editor of the Johns Hopkins Breast Center's online patient educational magazine, Artemis. After the passing of his first wife from breast cancer, he wrote an anecdotal autobiography, A Father's Notes, excerpts from which were published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Chicken Soup for the Single Parent's Soul. Richard has also written a play for middle-school and high-school students, Apollo 11: Original Adaptation for the Stage, to inspire a new generation of space scientists, and he published a children's book, 'Cuz That's Just My Way, that offers a beautiful lesson on tolerance.