"Pope Maria"
 

"Pope Maria" is the fictitious story of the life of a female, Maria, becoming Pope in modern times. Unlike the medieval myth of a female, Joan, becoming Pope while dressed as a male, this is the story of a female progressing from childhood through the ranks of the Catholic faith, overcoming obstacles at each step, and eventually becoming Pope. Pink smoke at the Vatican, instead of the traditional white smoke, signifies the election of Maria as the new Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church in the year 2100.

 
Change happens.
Eventually there will be a female U.S. President ... most people expect that.
The author contends that eventually there will also be a female Pope.
The author suggests we get used to it.
 
Maria's Life
Maria born in New Mexico – March 2, 2015
Maria finishes High School (after 3rd year) – 2032
Maria enters Convent – 2035
Maria completes Novitiate – 2040
Maria finishes college (Masters Degree) – 2042
Maria applies to seminary in Australia – 2044
Maria graduates from seminary – 2050
Maria begins service in Alaska – 2051
Maria transferred to Atlanta – 2054
Maria’s initial ecumenical work – 2054-2059
Maria as Bishop-at-Large (U.S.) – 2060
Maria’s extended U.S. ecumenical work – 2060-2069
Maria becomes ecumenical advisor to Curia in Rome – 2070
Maria becomes Cardinal – 2085
Maria becomes Pope – 2100
Maria dies (murdered) – March 3, 2130 (age 115 years and 1 day)
 
Book Index
Real Prologue Page 9
Story Prologue Page 11
Maria's Life Page 15
Chapter 1 - In The Begining Page 17
Chapter 2 - Growing Up Page 24
Chapter 3 - Sister (Nun) Maria Page 35
Chapter 4 - The Road To Priesthood Page 43
Chapter 5 - Reverend (Priest) Maria Page 50
Chapter 6 - Bishop Maria Page 64
Chapter 7 - Cardinal Maria Page 73
Chapter 8 - Maria's Papacy Page 82
Chapter 9 - The Murder and The Mystery Page 89
Pope Maria Encyclicals Page 92
Epilogue 1 - Pope Maria's Last Thoughts Page 99
Epilogue 2 - Life Goes On Page 101
Epilogue 3 - Closure Page 103
Reader Notes Page 104
 
Novel word count: 26,100      
23 black & white illustrations (photos)
 
In Maria's Early Years

Maria often smiled in church while silently offering her prayers. Others took this as complete devotion. However, one entry in her first diary puts a different perspective on this behavior. She wrote at age 12: “Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death. Amen. – Go Girl.”

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In The Covent
Maria remembered one incident just before evening prayers in the convent. She was standing with a group of the Sisters and chatting before entering the sanctuary. One Sister “who didn’t seem herself” left the room and returned a few minutes later in civilian clothes and carrying a suitcase. She said, “I need a man.” That's all she said, and left. She was never seen again.
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In The Seminary
In her second year Maria attended a required course on priesthood celibacy. The approach was similar to what had been given in the convent to the nuns. The text said, “Celibacy is a requirement to be one of the means of remaining pure in God’s eyes and being a true servant of God.” Celibacy for priests was introduced 900 years after the death of Jesus -- Maria wondered why. What did Jesus or the Apostles say about celibacy, for priests or nuns? One text theory was that celibacy helped avoid the nepotism prominent in early Church years. But there were few hard facts or rationale applicable to the priesthood or sisterhood today.  After the lecture Maria wrote in her diary, “I wanted to speak out in this class, but thought better of it. It is hard for me to see how celibacy is a requirement to work for God. In my readings of the Bible there appear to be many contradictions concerning marriage ... and sex in general (Genesis, Corinthians). It seems to me the brain/mind God has given us is the critical link to God and the means of promoting the Word.”
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In Maria's Papacy

Pope Maria adhered to tradition with her appearance on the Papal balcony immediately after her election. However, instead of the expected white zucchetto (skull cap), Pope Maria first appeared on the Papal balcony wearing an red biretta, the traditional wear of a Cardinal in the Church. Instead of doves being released, pink flamingos that had surreptitiously been brought into Saint Peter’s square were released by priests and nuns.

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Maria created the new Curia “Charity” position specifically to be separate from the Finance group. After “gentle persuasion” by Pope Maria, the Charity office was allotted 54.3656% of the Vatican budget. The Charity administrators were known as the “alms givers” and that is exactly what they did throughout the world. They would search for desperate individuals or small groups in need, and give them a better life. Most often the gifts were money, but if appropriate to the situation, arrangements were made for additional Vatican support, such as medical aid or agricultural support or technology guidance.

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In addition to Friar Benjamin her personal priest, Pope Maria selected another unique individual as a special confidant, Bishop S. The full name was never to be used publicly and he or she remains a mystery to the general public. Bishop S. was merely listed in Papal documents as Liaisona per Salutaria-Dictum. Bishop S. was Pope Maria’s special envoy to wherever Papal insight or informal Papal guidance was needed. Bishop S. was Pope Maria’s world trouble-shooter.
 
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To read several of Pope Maria's Encyclicals click here.
 
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Several mysteries remain about Pope Maria's life:

1. How could she become Pope after all her questioning about God throughout her life?
2. What really happened that night in the Convent?
3. Did Maria favor castration? How did she vote in the Seminary?
4. How did Maria vote on birth control in the Seminary?
5. Who was the person that attacked her in the seminary?

6. What caused her near-death illness in Unalaska and who was the child that saved her?
7. What did she mean when saying "When I look at the old photo of my baby’s face ..."?
8. Who is Bishop S.?
9. What does "TTM" mean in the draft of her Encyclical 5, "Sexuality"?
10.
Who killed Pope Maria ... how ... and why (now revealed in Epilogue 3)?
11. Is her body in the mastaba-like building in Australia?
 
What a great surprise when I received your new book yesterday !  Thanks so much !  I couldn't wait to begin reading it, but was quite busyyesterday, so I took it to bed with me last night and had a hard time putting it down at 11 pm.  What a great story! Maria is definitely a genius when it comes to inventing new ideas.  I'm ready to begin the chapter on Joshua Shilah .  Your photos make the story so entertaining, especially the ones of YOU So you're writing a new novel "The Elevator" now !  Really ? It sounds like a great story for our Book Club.  In fact, so does "Pope Maria" ! Both books should be Pulitzer Prize winners !  Best of Luck to You !
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This is the author's second book. His first novel "Constitution20xx" is described at www.constitution20xx.com
 
copyright 2015