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The Keys of This Blood.

Fr. James MacLoughlin is pastor of St. Theresa's Parish, Belleview, Fla.

The Keys of this Blood, by Malachi Martin (Simon and Schuster, 1990)

From the first page onward, Martin's immediacy engages the mind of the reader. The size of the novel should not deter anyone who enjoys controversy, summary history, a global view of the Catholic church, and appreciates an incisive portrait of John Paul II, the visionary bestriding the planet.

The theological tone is triumphal The church is bridging the 20th and 21st centuries. At times one has to wonder if the gigantic theological vision and purpose attributed to the papal colossus is actually present or is simply projected thinking from the mind of Malachi Martin.

A "superforce" of national critical reformers (NCR?) -- hierarchical and lay elements within the church -- is locked in deadly conflict with the papacy in a "hostile takeover attempt." The church is decaying morally and theologically. Amazingly, Pope John Paul is seen as knowing this and doing nothing to halt it as he engages in an all-engrossing geopolitical and georeligious struggle for the mind and heart of the world.

The sweep is massive; the writer is brilliant beyond question. Perhaps the recent political cataclysms in Europe belie some of its theses. Nevertheless, the book is an education in ecclesiology, geopolitics, history, georeligion, sacred espionage and conflicting good and evil. However we view the theology and politics portrayed, the Catholic church with its global structures is seen as the one religion on the planet has has achieved both geopolitical and georeligious stature.
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Author:MacLoughlin, James
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 19, 1993
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