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Chapter 34

The driver who collected Bishop1 Aringarosa from Leonardo da Vinci International Airport pulledup in a small, unimpressive black Fiat2 sedan. Aringarosa recalled a day when all Vatican transportswere big luxury cars that sported grille-plate medallions and flags emblazoned with the seal of theHoly See. Those days are gone. Vatican cars were now less ostentatious and almost alwaysunmarked. The Vatican claimed this was to cut costs to better serve their dioceses, but Aringarosasuspected it was more of a security measure. The world had gone mad, and in many parts ofEurope, advertising3 your love of Jesus Christ was like painting a bull's-eye on the roof of your car.

  Bundling his black cassock around himself, Aringarosa climbed into the back seat and settled in forthe long drive to Castel Gandolfo. It would be the same ride he had taken five months ago.

  Last year's trip to Rome, he sighed. The longest night of my life.

  Five months ago, the Vatican had phoned to request Aringarosa's immediate4 presence in Rome.

  They offered no explanation. Your tickets are at the airport. The Holy See worked hard to retain aveil of mystery, even for its highest clergy5.

  The mysterious summons, Aringarosa suspected, was probably a photo opportunity for the Popeand other Vatican officials to piggyback on Opus Dei's recent public success—the completion oftheir World Headquarters in New York City. Architectural Digest had called Opus Dei's building"a shining beacon6 of Catholicism sublimely7 integrated with the modern landscape," and lately theVatican seemed to be drawn8 to anything and everything that included the word "modern."Aringarosa had no choice but to accept the invitation, albeit9 reluctantly. Not a fan of the currentpapal administration, Aringarosa, like most conservative clergy, had watched with grave concernas the new Pope settled into his first year in office. An unprecedented10 liberal, His Holiness hadsecured the papacy through one of the most controversial and unusual conclaves11 in Vatican history.

  Now, rather than being humbled12 by his unexpected rise to power, the Holy Father had wasted notime flexing13 all the muscle associated with the highest office in Christendom. Drawing on anunsettling tide of liberal support within the College of Cardinals14, the Pope was now declaring hispapal mission to be "rejuvenation15 of Vatican doctrine16 and updating Catholicism into the thirdmillennium."The translation, Aringarosa feared, was that the man was actually arrogant17 enough to think hecould rewrite God's laws and win back the hearts of those who felt the demands of true Catholicismhad become too inconvenient18 in a modern world.

  Aringarosa had been using all of his political sway—substantial considering the size of the OpusDei constituency and their bankroll—to persuade the Pope and his advisers19 that softening20 theChurch's laws was not only faithless and cowardly, but political suicide. He reminded them thatprevious tempering of Church law—the Vatican II fiasco—had left a devastating21 legacy22: Churchattendance was now lower than ever, donations were drying up, and there were not even enoughCatholic priests to preside over their churches.

  People need structure and direction from the Church, Aringarosa insisted, not coddling andindulgence!

  On that night, months ago, as the Fiat had left the airport, Aringarosa was surprised to find himselfheading not toward Vatican City but rather eastward23 up a sinuous24 mountain road. "Where are wegoing?" he had demanded of his driver.

  "Alban Hills," the man replied. "Your meeting is at Castel Gandolfo."The Pope's summer residence? Aringarosa had never been, nor had he ever desired to see it. Inaddition to being the Pope's summer vacation home, the sixteenth-century citadel25 housed theSpecula Vaticana—the Vatican Observatory—one of the most advanced astronomicalobservatories in Europe. Aringarosa had never been comfortable with the Vatican's historical needto dabble26 in science. What was the rationale for fusing science and faith? Unbiased science couldnot possibly be performed by a man who possessed27 faith in God. Nor did faith have any need forphysical confirmation28 of its beliefs.

  Nonetheless, there it is, he thought as Castel Gandolfo came into view, rising against a star-filledNovember sky. From the access road, Gandolfo resembled a great stone monster pondering asuicidal leap. Perched at the very edge of a cliff, the castle leaned out over the cradle of Italiancivilization—the valley where the Curiazi and Orazi clans29 fought long before the founding ofRome.

  Even in silhouette30, Gandolfo was a sight to behold—an impressive example of tiered, defensivearchitecture, echoing the potency31 of this dramatic cliffside setting. Sadly, Aringarosa now saw, theVatican had ruined the building by constructing two huge aluminum32 telescope domes33 atop the roof,leaving this once dignified34 edifice35 looking like a proud warrior36 wearing a couple of party hats.

  When Aringarosa got out of the car, a young Jesuit priest hurried out and greeted him. "Bishop,welcome. I am Father Mangano. An astronomer37 here."Good for you. Aringarosa grumbled38 his hello and followed his host into the castle's foyer—a wide-open space whose decor was a graceless blend of Renaissance39 art and astronomy images.

  Following his escort up the wide travertine marble staircase, Aringarosa saw signs for conferencecenters, science lecture halls, and tourist information services. It amazed him to think the Vaticanwas failing at every turn to provide coherent, stringent40 guidelines for spiritual growth and yetsomehow still found time to give astrophysics lectures to tourists.

  "Tell me," Aringarosa said to the young priest, "when did the tail start wagging the dog?"The priest gave him an odd look. "Sir?"Aringarosa waved it off, deciding not to launch into that particular offensive again this evening.

  The Vatican has gone mad. Like a lazy parent who found it easier to acquiesce41 to the whims42 of aspoiled child than to stand firm and teach values, the Church just kept softening at every turn,trying to reinvent itself to accommodate a culture gone astray.

  The top floor's corridor was wide, lushly appointed, and led in only one direction—toward a hugeset of oak doors with a brass43 sign.

  BIBLIOTECA ASTRONOMICAAringarosa had heard of this place—the Vatican's Astronomy Library—rumored to contain morethan twenty-five thousand volumes, including rare works of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton,and Secchi. Allegedly, it was also the place in which the Pope's highest officers held privatemeetings... those meetings they preferred not to hold within the walls of Vatican City.

  Approaching the door, Bishop Aringarosa would never have imagined the shocking news he wasabout to receive inside, or the deadly chain of events it would put into motion. It was not until anhour later, as he staggered from the meeting, that the devastating implications settled in. Six monthsfrom now! he had thought. God help us!

  Now, seated in the Fiat, Bishop Aringarosa realized his fists were clenched44 just thinking about thatfirst meeting. He released his grip and forced a slow inhalation, relaxing his muscles.

  Everything will be fine, he told himself as the Fiat wound higher into the mountains. Still, hewished his cell phone would ring. Why hasn't the Teacher called me? Silas should have thekeystone by now.

  Trying to ease his nerves, the bishop meditated45 on the purple amethyst46 in his ring. Feeling thetextures of the mitre-crozier appliqué and the facets47 of the diamonds, he reminded himself that thisring was a symbol of power far less than that which he would soon attain48.













主教的避暑山庄?阿林加洛沙从来没有去过,也没有想过要去。那座16 世纪的古堡不仅是主教的避暑山庄,而且也是梵蒂冈天文台--欧洲最先进的天文台--的所在地。阿林加洛沙一想到梵蒂冈的古迹要和科学沾上边,心里就觉得不舒服。把科学和信仰搀和在一起有何道理?人们没有对上帝的信仰,就找不到科学真理。信仰也不需要任何形式来证明自己。















1 bishop AtNzd     
  • He was a bishop who was held in reverence by all.他是一位被大家都尊敬的主教。
  • Two years after his death the bishop was canonised.主教逝世两年后被正式封为圣者。
2 fiat EkYx2     
  • The opening of a market stall is governed by municipal fiat.开设市场摊位受市政法令管制。
  • He has tried to impose solutions to the country's problems by fiat.他试图下令强行解决该国的问题。
3 advertising 1zjzi3     
n.广告业;广告活动 a.广告的;广告业务的
  • Can you give me any advice on getting into advertising? 你能指点我如何涉足广告业吗?
  • The advertising campaign is aimed primarily at young people. 这个广告宣传运动主要是针对年轻人的。
4 immediate aapxh     
  • His immediate neighbours felt it their duty to call.他的近邻认为他们有责任去拜访。
  • We declared ourselves for the immediate convocation of the meeting.我们主张立即召开这个会议。
5 clergy SnZy2     
  • I could heartily wish that more of our country clergy would follow this example.我衷心希望,我国有更多的牧师效法这个榜样。
  • All the local clergy attended the ceremony.当地所有的牧师出席了仪式。
6 beacon KQays     
  • The blink of beacon could be seen for miles.灯塔的光亮在数英里之外都能看见。
  • The only light over the deep black sea was the blink shone from the beacon.黑黢黢的海面上唯一的光明就只有灯塔上闪现的亮光了。
7 sublimely e63362bb835c4a9cf1c1d9b745af77a1     
  • In devotion woman is sublimely superior to man. 怜悯是女子胜过男子的德性之一。
  • She was sublimely unaware of how foolish she looked. 她根本不知道她的样子多愚蠢。
8 drawn MuXzIi     
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。
9 albeit axiz0     
  • Albeit fictional,she seemed to have resolved the problem.虽然是虚构的,但是在她看来好象是解决了问题。
  • Albeit he has failed twice,he is not discouraged.虽然失败了两次,但他并没有气馁。
10 unprecedented 7gSyJ     
  • The air crash caused an unprecedented number of deaths.这次空难的死亡人数是空前的。
  • A flood of this sort is really unprecedented.这样大的洪水真是十年九不遇。
11 conclaves d10082f9581762c8fec89089f9d4b430     
n.秘密会议,教皇选举会议,红衣主教团( conclave的名词复数 )
  • In huts and caves, in the plains and in the mountains, secret conclaves went on again. 在平原的土房里,在山区的窑洞中,秘密串连又开始了。 来自互联网
12 humbled 601d364ccd70fb8e885e7d73c3873aca     
adj. 卑下的,谦逊的,粗陋的 vt. 使 ... 卑下,贬低
  • The examination results humbled him. 考试成绩挫了他的傲气。
  • I am sure millions of viewers were humbled by this story. 我相信数百万观众看了这个故事后都会感到自己的渺小。
13 flexing ea85fac2422c3e15400d532b3bfb4d3c     
n.挠曲,可挠性v.屈曲( flex的现在分词 );弯曲;(为准备大干而)显示实力;摩拳擦掌
  • Flexing particular muscles allows snakes to move in several ways. 可弯曲的特殊的肌肉使蛇可以用几种方式移动。 来自电影对白
  • China has become an economic superpower and is flexing its muscles. 中国已经成为了一个经济巨人而且在展示他的肌肉。 来自互联网
14 cardinals 8aa3d7ed97d6793c87fe821585838a4a     
红衣主教( cardinal的名词复数 ); 红衣凤头鸟(见于北美,雄鸟为鲜红色); 基数
  • cardinals in scarlet robes 身披红袍的枢机主教
  • A conclave of cardinals was held to elect the new Pope. 红衣主教团举行了秘密会议来选举新教皇。
15 rejuvenation b9e42846611643c4db26fc856328d569     
n. 复原,再生, 更新, 嫩化, 恢复
  • Prolonged starvation and aging might lead to rejuvenation of embryogenic potential. 长期的饥饿和衰老可以导致胚胎发生能力的复壮。
  • All this signs rejuvenation of agriculture. 所有这些都预示着农业将复苏。
16 doctrine Pkszt     
  • He was impelled to proclaim his doctrine.他不得不宣扬他的教义。
  • The council met to consider changes to doctrine.宗教议会开会考虑更改教义。
17 arrogant Jvwz5     
  • You've got to get rid of your arrogant ways.你这骄傲劲儿得好好改改。
  • People are waking up that he is arrogant.人们开始认识到他很傲慢。
18 inconvenient m4hy5     
  • You have come at a very inconvenient time.你来得最不适时。
  • Will it be inconvenient for him to attend that meeting?他参加那次会议会不方便吗?
19 advisers d4866a794d72d2a666da4e4803fdbf2e     
顾问,劝告者( adviser的名词复数 ); (指导大学新生学科问题等的)指导教授
  • a member of the President's favoured circle of advisers 总统宠爱的顾问班子中的一员
  • She withdrew to confer with her advisers before announcing a decision. 她先去请教顾问然后再宣布决定。
20 softening f4d358268f6bd0b278eabb29f2ee5845     
  • Her eyes, softening, caressed his face. 她的眼光变得很温柔了。它们不住地爱抚他的脸。 来自汉英文学 - 家(1-26) - 家(1-26)
  • He might think my brain was softening or something of the kind. 他也许会觉得我婆婆妈妈的,已经成了个软心肠的人了。
21 devastating muOzlG     
  • It is the most devastating storm in 20 years.这是20年来破坏性最大的风暴。
  • Affairs do have a devastating effect on marriages.婚外情确实会对婚姻造成毁灭性的影响。
22 legacy 59YzD     
  • They are the most precious cultural legacy our forefathers left.它们是我们祖先留下来的最宝贵的文化遗产。
  • He thinks the legacy is a gift from the Gods.他认为这笔遗产是天赐之物。
23 eastward CrjxP     
  • The river here tends eastward.这条河从这里向东流。
  • The crowd is heading eastward,believing that they can find gold there.人群正在向东移去,他们认为在那里可以找到黄金。
24 sinuous vExz4     
  • The river wound its sinuous way across the plain.这条河蜿蜒曲折地流过平原。
  • We moved along the sinuous gravel walks,with the great concourse of girls and boys.我们沿着曲折的石径,随着男孩女孩汇成的巨流一路走去。
25 citadel EVYy0     
  • The citadel was solid.城堡是坚固的。
  • This citadel is built on high ground for protecting the city.这座城堡建于高处是为保护城市。
26 dabble dabble     
  • They dabble in the stock market.他们少量投资于股市。
  • Never dabble with things of which you have no knowledge.绝不要插手你不了解的事物。
27 possessed xuyyQ     
  • He flew out of the room like a man possessed.他像着了魔似地猛然冲出房门。
  • He behaved like someone possessed.他行为举止像是魔怔了。
28 confirmation ZYMya     
  • We are waiting for confirmation of the news.我们正在等待证实那个消息。
  • We need confirmation in writing before we can send your order out.给你们发送订购的货物之前,我们需要书面确认。
29 clans 107c1b7606090bbd951aa9bdcf1d209e     
宗族( clan的名词复数 ); 氏族; 庞大的家族; 宗派
  • There are many clans in European countries. 欧洲国家有很多党派。
  • The women were the great power among the clans [gentes], as everywhere else. 妇女在克兰〈氏族〉里,乃至一般在任何地方,都有很大的势力。 来自英汉非文学 - 家庭、私有制和国家的起源
30 silhouette SEvz8     
  • I could see its black silhouette against the evening sky.我能看到夜幕下它黑色的轮廓。
  • I could see the silhouette of the woman in the pickup.我可以见到小卡车的女人黑色半身侧面影。
31 potency 9Smz8     
n. 效力,潜能
  • Alcohol increases the drug's potency.酒精能增加这种毒品的效力。
  • Sunscreen can lose its potency if left over winter in the bathroom cabinet.如果把防晒霜在盥洗室的壁橱里放一个冬天,就有可能失效。
32 aluminum 9xhzP     
  • The aluminum sheets cannot be too much thicker than 0.04 inches.铝板厚度不能超过0.04英寸。
  • During the launch phase,it would ride in a protective aluminum shell.在发射阶段,它盛在一只保护的铝壳里。
33 domes ea51ec34bac20cae1c10604e13288827     
n.圆屋顶( dome的名词复数 );像圆屋顶一样的东西;圆顶体育场
  • The domes are circular or ovoid in cross-section. 穹丘的横断面为圆形或卵圆形。 来自辞典例句
  • Parks. The facilities highlighted in text include sport complexes and fabric domes. 本书重点讲的设施包括运动场所和顶棚式结构。 来自互联网
34 dignified NuZzfb     
  • Throughout his trial he maintained a dignified silence. 在整个审讯过程中,他始终沉默以保持尊严。
  • He always strikes such a dignified pose before his girlfriend. 他总是在女友面前摆出这种庄严的姿态。
35 edifice kqgxv     
  • The American consulate was a magnificent edifice in the centre of Bordeaux.美国领事馆是位于波尔多市中心的一座宏伟的大厦。
  • There is a huge Victorian edifice in the area.该地区有一幢维多利亚式的庞大建筑物。
36 warrior YgPww     
  • The young man is a bold warrior.这个年轻人是个很英勇的武士。
  • A true warrior values glory and honor above life.一个真正的勇士珍视荣誉胜过生命。
37 astronomer DOEyh     
  • A new star attracted the notice of the astronomer.新发现的一颗星引起了那位天文学家的注意。
  • He is reputed to have been a good astronomer.他以一个优秀的天文学者闻名于世。
38 grumbled ed735a7f7af37489d7db1a9ef3b64f91     
抱怨( grumble的过去式和过去分词 ); 发牢骚; 咕哝; 发哼声
  • He grumbled at the low pay offered to him. 他抱怨给他的工资低。
  • The heat was sweltering, and the men grumbled fiercely over their work. 天热得让人发昏,水手们边干活边发着牢骚。
39 renaissance PBdzl     
  • The Renaissance was an epoch of unparalleled cultural achievement.文艺复兴是一个文化上取得空前成就的时代。
  • The theme of the conference is renaissance Europe.大会的主题是文艺复兴时期的欧洲。
40 stringent gq4yz     
  • Financiers are calling for a relaxation of these stringent measures.金融家呼吁对这些严厉的措施予以放宽。
  • Some of the conditions in the contract are too stringent.合同中有几项条件太苛刻。
41 acquiesce eJny5     
  • Her parents will never acquiesce in such an unsuitable marriage.她的父母决不会答应这门不相宜的婚事。
  • He is so independent that he will never acquiesce.他很有主见,所以绝不会顺从。
42 WHIMS ecf1f9fe569e0760fc10bec24b97c043     
  • The mate observed regretfully that he could not account for that young fellow's whims. 那位伙伴很遗憾地说他不能说出那年轻人产生怪念头的原因。
  • The rest she had for food and her own whims. 剩下的钱她用来吃饭和买一些自己喜欢的东西。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
43 brass DWbzI     
  • Many of the workers play in the factory's brass band.许多工人都在工厂铜管乐队中演奏。
  • Brass is formed by the fusion of copper and zinc.黄铜是通过铜和锌的熔合而成的。
44 clenched clenched     
v.紧握,抓紧,咬紧( clench的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He clenched his fists in anger. 他愤怒地攥紧了拳头。
  • She clenched her hands in her lap to hide their trembling. 她攥紧双手放在腿上,以掩饰其颤抖。 来自《简明英汉词典》
45 meditated b9ec4fbda181d662ff4d16ad25198422     
深思,沉思,冥想( meditate的过去式和过去分词 ); 内心策划,考虑
  • He meditated for two days before giving his answer. 他在作出答复之前考虑了两天。
  • She meditated for 2 days before giving her answer. 她考虑了两天才答复。
46 amethyst ee0yu     
  • She pinned a large amethyst brooch to her lapel.她在翻领上别了一枚大大的紫水晶饰针。
  • The exquisite flowers come alive in shades of amethyst.那些漂亮的花儿在紫水晶的映衬下显得格外夺目。
47 facets f954532ea6a2c241dcb9325762a2a145     
n.(宝石或首饰的)小平面( facet的名词复数 );(事物的)面;方面
  • The question had many facets. 这个问题是多方面的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • A fully cut brilliant diamond has 68 facets. 经过充分切刻的光彩夺目的钻石有68个小平面。 来自《简明英汉词典》
48 attain HvYzX     
  • I used the scientific method to attain this end. 我用科学的方法来达到这一目的。
  • His painstaking to attain his goal in life is praiseworthy. 他为实现人生目标所下的苦功是值得称赞的。


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