Weighed down by prohibitive maintenance costs of their 43 cathedrals and beset by declining revenues from a dwindling membership, the Church of England is close to bankruptcy. With no more properties to sell and no shareholders to bail them out, the Archbishop of Canterbury is at his wits end. The Catholic Church also has its problems - notably on an increasing number of cases of child molestation by their priests dominating the Press. But it has money - and especially in England, where immigrants from Catholic countries are swelling their congregations and consequently their coffers. In a gesture of apparent ecumenical generosity, Pope Paul offers to absorb the Anglican Churchs current deficit with a handsome gift of 120 million pounds... --- The protagonists of "The Mission" are Sister Ursula Green and Father Richard Brown SJ who are on a clandestine mission to bring about fundamental changes to the Church of Rome that will allow women to be ordained. Working from the inside, using Father Browns financial skills and Sister Ursulas feminine wiles, they come up with a unique approach that receives the Popes blessing. Other characters who play a leading part in the development of the plot are Don Guido Leone, the Mafia boss in Sicily who has a hidden secret, John Reilly, the defrocked Catholic Archbishop of Westminster who marries a blond teenager, a Benedictine monk who shoots himself to avoid exposure, a depressed Anglican Archbishop who takes an overdose of sleeping tablets to kill his pain, a priest who acknowledges that he is the father of three children, and a professional dominatrix who uses her psychological skills to good effect. The action oscillates between Lambeth Palace, the Vatican, Rome, Salisbury and Palermo.