A TYRANNY OF GOD
(106 Chapters) On a stormy night in October 1943, a small frightened boy flees a Gestapo execution squad as they round up the remaining Jews of the Roman ghetto. Plucked from the streets by an aged priest and his two perverse assistants, the boy is sheltered in their rectory where a feeble-minded scullery maid and six slobbering mastiffs become his new family. When the war ends, he enters the seminary and becomes a priest. Young Father Di Domenico is a conflicted individual who constantly finds fault with both himself and his Church as he struggles with the hypocrisy and injustices that surround him. For criticizing the institution in print, he is summoned before a Vatican tribunal and banished from his native Rome to a parish in the far reaches of Canada. Here he begins a slide into madness, engaging in an erotic relationship with a young nun and descending deeper and deeper into a well of guilt and despair. When the young priest is inadvertently reunited with his only sister thought to have perished at Auschwitz, he begins a slow and painful recovery. But their meeting comes with a curse. The father they never knew has died and left the siblings an inheritance so controversial and morally compromising that the Church will do anything, even murder one of its ordained, to obtain it.
(Reader's review) "A very believable story. It feels real and historical. I needed a few days of reflection after finishing the book. It shows aspects of the nature of human beings that left me worried and concerned, such nature, so untrustworthy, egoist and violent. So easily influenced by doctrines and beliefs that give us permission to commit atrocities. The book doesn't leave room for a more benign aspect of human nature, except for the female character Kathleen. It seems that since organized religions appeared in the world humans have lost their innocence, replacing it with evil."