Need Title of Novel--Retired Supreme Court Justice gets elected Pope

One day, while at a used bookstore I came across a book with the following plot:

The main character lives an extra-ordinary life. He is a WW2 hero and spy. He comes home from war and is elected to Congress. He winds up serving several presidents in different cabinet posts. He caps off his public service career by being appointed to the be Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. When his wife, the love of his life, dies, he retires from the Supreme Court and enters the priesthood. The pope dies in the middle of an international crisis that affects the Church. In the conclave, the cardinals looking for a pope who can deal with the situation elect him to be Pope turn to the main character.

I read the jacket. Didn’t have enough money so I’d buy it on the next trip. Came back and the book is gone and I didn’t write down the title (I thought it was so easy that I would remember it).

Anyone know the name and author of a book with such a plot?

I don’t know, but it sounds interesting!

I just googled “novel ‘supreme court’ pope” and it turned up this. Is this the book?

Vicar of Christ by Walter Murphy

I thought it sounded interesting so I read the Amazon reviews. The second makes it sound like the author has an ulterior agenda:

And here is where we get into serious “what-ifs”. As one can imagine, many of these “what-ifs” involve some fairly radical “theology”. Frankly, it’s your typical “We could fix all the problems of the Church if the Church relaxed all her disciplines and dogmas on everything we don’t like” screed, although much more intelligently presented than is often found! (One does weary, however, of the constant sniping about Humanae Vitae, and the continued polemic against Pope Pius XII.) Walsh as “Pope Francesco” becomes the ultimate authoritarian liberal – and one wonders (as, frankly, do characters in the book) if Walsh is inspired – or are we witnessing someone slowly, and very publicly, going mad.

From a literary perspective, a very good to outstanding book. As a thinly-disguised manifesto for radically leftist Catholicism, it becomes quickly tiresome.

I missed that review. I think I’ll pass. :stuck_out_tongue:

Wow, I read that ages ago.
If I recall he took the name Francis as Pope. Probably a lot of the folks here wouldn’t like his theology. Oddly enough, the author is a Marine Korean War veteran and was a law prof when he wrote the book – same as the hero previous to his appointment to the Court and subsequent election.

Forrest Gump?

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