Book Recommendation: The Collaborator by Mitchell Hadley January 13, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, Papa, reading, Revolution, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
I’m not sure I make a very good book reviewer. Either I go into too much detail, or not enough. Book reviewing probably takes more skill as a writer than I possess.
I almost never read fiction. 99% of what I read is Church-related, while I still read an occasional military history or technical book. Over time, I just kind of began to feel I had better things to do than read a make-believe story. I generally find truth stranger, and more interesting, than fiction.
So when I give a very strong recommendation for a fiction book, perhaps that means something. It surely means I greatly enjoyed it, and, in this case, felt I directly benefited from having read it. The book I am referring to is Mitchell Hadley’s The Collaborator, a fiction tale set in the present-day Church with a pontiff who looks, acts, and has a background very similar to Pope Francis. However, that pope, and his protagonist, the Prefect of the CDF, are never named.
Without providing any spoilers, the plot centers around a radical new pontiff’s attempts to remake the Church, and the disturbing evidence that emerges from his background in a troubled Latin American country where his rise to power may have been just a bit too convenient. What he chose to do to gain that power form the main plot of the book, and also set the stage for the final conflict between pope and prefect.
I mentioned in a previous post that The Collaborator is very much in the mold of Windswept House and other Malachi Martin books, though without the overt darkness. Another key difference is that author Hadley does not hint that he has special inside knowledge regarding conspiracies at the highest levels of the Church. He’s a regular, involved Catholic like you or I, and while he certainly did research, there are no claims of any “true revelations” masquerading as fiction or anything like that. He’s simply taken what we know about the current pope, and his background, and extrapolated out a bit from there.
Having said that, I think it important to note that The Collaborator was written before many very telling events took place, like the Ordinary Synod, the changes to the annulment process and the Year of Mercy. I think it was written before the revelations surrounding the “St. Gallen Group” of progressive cardinals who apparently, by their own admission, illicitly collaborated in electing Pope Francis. In some respect, Hadley’s book reads as prophetic.
And, in several ways, I thought it helped me understand Pope Francis better. Somehow – and perhaps this is just me and my own imagination working with the author’s – I felt like, reading this slight imagining on this progressive pope’s background and his cooperation with an authoritarian regime (among many other aspects of his life), I felt like I came away with a better understanding of who Pope Francis is. It certainly didn’t give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Quite the contrary. It confirmed, even more, what a grave threat we face in this pontificate. And it instilled in me even greater concern over the lengths to which Francis and this modernist cabal may go in their efforts to remake the Church in their image.
On a practical level, the books a very fast read. Mitchell Hadley is a man who writes in a fluid, easy to read style. But as I said before, the book is not a screed. He tries to give a fair representation of progressive belief, while making clear which side (progressive/orthodox) he believes is right. But I want to be clear the book is not just one long rant against this pope or anyone else. The book tells an engaging story, and doesn’t spoon feed every detail to the reader. There is room to think and draw one’s own conclusions, which I appreciate.
I really strongly recommend the book. It’s only $15 and I get a nice kickback*, so make sure to buy 10 or 20 copies. I usually take forever to read a book, but this one got me so engaged I finished it in a couple of days (bear in mind, I read parts of 12-15 different books daily). I think all readers will enjoy it. We always complain about a lack of good, current-day material in this sick culture….well, here’s a good, brand new book to read!
Again, you can order the book from here, in both print and electronic formats.