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?
the things Jesus said and the miracles he did, millions and millions of people believe it. “Now, Pyotr,” Steve asked, “do you know where your name comes from?” “From my parents. They gave it to me.” “What I mean, Pyotr, is the original meaning of your name. It means Peter. The rock. Jesus said to Peter, who was a fisherman: ‘You are the rock and upon this rock I will build my church.’ So, Pyotr, you are named after the man that Jesus picked to start his church.” “My father’s a fisherman too,”
of those far out islands? Can you even talk to the people? Do they speak English?” “Oh yes, for the most part they speak English. They almost all have TVs now which helps a lot and the children are required to learn English in school. Some of the older people still speak Russian and also the native Aleut language, mostly when they don’t want you to know what they’re saying, but the old language is dying out.” “What islands do you visit?” “I usually head west from Unalaska out to the islands
from the chancery. But he thought not of the dead, he was worrying about problems that had begun to loom large in recent years. The court cases and huge settlements from charges of molestation brought by former altar boys against several of his priests had brought his diocese to the point of bankruptcy. Although the offenses had happened many years before, he learned there was no statute of limitations when an adult was accused of molesting a minor. Bishop Hernandez was certain the errant priests
priest, does that shock you?” “Not really. It would be better if you were married, but I’m happy he has someone.” “He wants me to marry him.” “Are you going to?” “I might. Right now, in addition to a housekeeper, we’ve hired a live-in nurse...I guess I should say he’s hired the nurse.” ”All in the Murphy mansion?” Steve asked, thinking the old mausoleum might be coming alive with three women looking after things. He smiled at the thought of stuffy old Jonathon with a cadre of women bustling
here from Washington. I sent you a letter stating that I wanted him to resign from the priesthood. Has he done that?” “No, Your Grace. I told him about your wishes, but he refused to resign.” “Did you explain that he would leave the priesthood with the blessing of the church and thus be permitted to lead a full Catholic life?” “Yes, Your Grace. I did, at length, but he was adamant.” “Well, in that case, we must take steps to defrock him because for a reason I have yet to determine, Bishop