“OF BREAD AND WINE”
Synopsis / Author: Edward Izzi — Fiction 2018
Chicago criminal attorney Michael Prescott
is on holiday in Rome, and visits with his best friend, Monsignor Robert Cavalieri
, a Special Diplomat to the Vatican. He is informed by “Fr. Rob” that Giovanni Cardinal Masellis
, the “Mafia Cardinal”, who was once considered the most evil and influential cardinals at the Vatican in his day, has made a deathbed confession to him before his passing as to the details of the death and poisoning murder of Pope John Paul I
. Masellis confesses to also spearheading the massive cover-up surrounding the pope's poisoning death in September, 1978. Unfortunately, his confession is secretly recorded by the Italian newspaper “La Republicca”
and their ambitious editor, Max Gianforte
. He desperately tries to find other sources within the Vatican to confirm the Cardinal's deathbed revelations. The Vatican is now concerned over the effects such media disclosure will have on the reputation of the Catholic Church. Almost forty years after the mysterious death of the pope, the Vatican is imbrued with the various documents and specific details regarding the circumstances of his death, especially the missing “Coins of Gregorio”
a priceless gift donated by an influential Italian mobster, Don Giancarlo Cesario
, the night before Pope John Paul I's murder. The gift was an attempt to bribe and influence His Holiness in the Vatican investigation into the Banco Ambrosiano
scandal, for which the Cesario Family and Cardinal Masellis was significantly involved.
Meanwhile, wine master Marco DiVito
, the former Vatican head of security and a distant cousin of the Cesario Family, now oversees his vineyard near the foothills of Rome. He is nervous and apprehensive over meeting his long lost daughter, Sienna DiVito
. She is a prominent investigative journalist with the Washington Post, and DiVito abandoned her as a little girl in Boston over twenty years ago. The Post has asked her to investigate “one of the biggest stories to come out of the Vatican in decades.” Michael meets Sienna after losing his wallet at the Café Michelangelo in Rome, and after a few chance meetings, they begin a relationship. They set in motion their investigative search together into the certainty of Masellis's deathbed revelations, but Michael never reveals his relationship with the Vatican. He tries to temper her investigative efforts in discovering the truth of the Pope John Paul I's death.
As rumors swirl around Rome after the death of Cardinal Masellis, Italian crime boss Calogero "Don Charlie” Cesario
believes that the actual murderer also possesses these missing, priceless coins. The crime family is also unhappy with the La Republicca and their intention to insinuate their family's involvement in the beloved Pope's poisoning death. He points his suspicions towards DiVito, and threatens him to either return the missing coins to the crime family or there will be “dire” consequences towards him and his beloved daughter.
These revelations of the Vatican's most corrupt Cardinal and the Mafia's search for the return of their missing heirloom coins threaten the lives of Michael and Sienna, and their investigative search reveals the total corruption and instability of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church.
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