CATHOLICS by Brian Moore
Short and easy to read. In fact I read it in one day. Written in 1972, this book could be put in under science fiction without any problem. In the future, after Vatican IV, the Church is working toward convergence with Buddhism, the Mass is symbolic, and there is no such thing as private confession. The only place on the planet practicing the Latin Mass, a small island off of Ireland, has been heretofore unknown but thanks to the hordes of pilgrims it attracts, not to mention, television specials, the Church is now sending out a priest to set things straight. His confrontation with the Irish priest is not quite what we'd expect. We discover that, contrary to expectations, it is not passion for the Mass that led this priest to defy the Vatican. Quite the opposite, it is a lack of faith, not wanting to rock the boat, that led him to hang onto the old ways.
I was riveted to see what the conclusion would be to the old priest's confrontation with the "Vatican's man" who believes in the new Catholic ways. I will not spoil it here for other readers. Suffice it to say, that I have had this book in mind quite a lot in the last few days, especially during Mass yesterday. I am going to recommend this book for our book club.
(Read as part of my Autumn Reading Challenge.)