This story is predicated upon the little known fact that any male who has been baptized as a Christian is eligible to become Pope. The Catholic Church usually requires that he also be confirmed. This, however, is not the real impediment as such a thing is most unlikely to happen, on the face of it. Unless, of course, if as the Church proclaims the Holy Ghost actually exists.
St. Malachy, an Irish mystic, created a remarkably accurate list of Popes from his day in the 1300s to beyond our present time. According to this list there are to be two more Popes; a short reign and then the last Pope.
What would the world be like if the Holy Ghost did interfere in the election of the last Pope. That does indeed present us with many interesting possibilities.
This book is in eight parts, starting with:
THE END OF DAYS: The story opens in the late spring of 2007 with a conclave to elect a successor to the second-last Pope. For a number of months it has been deadlocked, when a series of dreams introduce a name that eventually is voted as the next Pope. A search finds the possessor of that name and a birthmark on his neck that will make him Pope.
THE COMING: We go back to Ireland in 1896 where one of the O'Shey twins is murdered in a most gruesome manner. The other runs off to Canada. He marries a young woman he meets in a most unusual manner on the ship. They have a family and we follow their son patrick (Paddy) O'Shey who has a very eventful life as a professional baseball player and war hero, and despite his feeling of failure his son becomes the new Pope.
WAR: Concerns the exploits of Paddy O'Shey while in France in 1940.
JOURNEY TO NOW: Here we follow the quiet life of our hero, James Michael O'Shey, from birth until he is most unexpectedly picked to be Pope. With a stop to cover the exploits of his father in the Far East during the war against the Japanese.
FROM PERDITION TO PERIL: Back to Ireland in 1896 where the murdered of the O'Shey twin, one Jack Cassidy,, runs away in great remorse for the obscenity he has committed. He goes to England and to the astonishment of even himself, becomes a Catholic, a lawyer, a General serving in WWI and long time member of parliament. his son, Aaron, who lives a quiet life, has a son he names for his father; James Winston Cassidy becomes the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the antagonist to the new Pope. He is one of the ones who tries to kill Michael.
IN THE BEGINNING: This section follows Michael as he accepts the charge to be Pope. He introduces a new theology into the Church, dissolves the College of Cardinals and calls an Ecumenical Council. He fires every bishop and most of the workers in the Curia and replaces them temporarily until the council can decide on the future structure of the Church. He replaces over a thousand Bishops with men who are not wedded to the fear based past.
END OF THE BEGINNING: Here we follow Michael as he meets the world and introduces his new theology, travels to Canada, the United States and the UN, survives a number of attempts on his life, and generally puts his house in order. He introduces the universal Catholic Church and meets the resistance from the frightened ones with alacrity and forceful theological dexterity. However, a supposed miracle put a bit of a damper on his enthusiasm.
THE END OF THE BEGINNING: Michael sets forth the criteria for the Council. When all seems to be going as expected he is faced with a double attempt to kill him. With this negative adventure, and a metaphysical juxtaposition, the fate of the Universal Catholic Church is put on hold while the readers make up their minds as to the desirability of the message that Michael preaches.