1878: Pope Pius IX dies, after a misguided papacy that has stamped out liberalism, centralized papal power and witnessed the Pope's declaration of Infallibility. The Judas Cloth is told from the standpoint of Pius's son Nicola Santi, an orphan unaware of his scandalous paternity, who becomes a priest intent on honest and compassionate service, only to suffer disillusion. 'A wonderful basilica of a novel.' Independent 'An astonishing achievement.' Irish Times 'Rich in bizarre theatre... unabashed period drama, gorgeous and sinister grand guignol.' Sunday Times 'O'Faolain gently but unmistakably draws parallels with today's church... I hope his holiness reads it.' Telegraph

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