When Pope Benedict XVI abdicated as the Supreme Pontiff and spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, the world press was very explicit in informing the public on how the selecting of a new pontiff was going to work. However, it failed to go into the political maneuverings that are brought into play by the Roman Curia and its most influential cardinals. What the news commentators didn't tell you was how separate coalitions comprised of cardinals from each continent would try to manipulate their particular candidates into the seat of Peter for various reasons. The princes' of the Church would no doubt be uncomfortable with admitting that the papal selection process works pretty much the same way as any other political election with candidates and their promoters vying for votes in order to win power. But when the College of Cardinals select its leader, it's ostensibly accomplished with only the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. However, the novel A COUNTERFEIT PRIEST, which is based on Cross' screenplay by the same title, gives a different perspective to this esteemed spiritual selection.