The Ardeatine Connection
An American visiting relatives in Italy becomes involved in a search for Church documents, which become linked to the Church’s involvement in crimes perpetrated during World War II up to the present. More
Meeting his Italian relatives for the first time, Ross Cameron receives a request from his gravely ill great uncle Ercole. “The Pope must be stopped,” he tells Ross, following it with a command “to find the Prophecies.” Teaming up with the man’s devoted granddaughter, a blond named Sabrina, Ross sets out to fulfill the man’s request. Knowing only the Prophecies have something to do with Fatima, the pair find themselves on the highest peak of the Apennines, searching for a mysterious chapel where Ercole’s few clues lead them.
The stakes are raised when Ross and Sabrina, after locating the missing papers, narrowly escape the mountain with their lives. Delivering their find to Ercole’s friend, an enigmatic monk named Giotto, they are dismayed to find they have recovered only two of the missing Prophecies. The subsequent search for the all important Third Mystery takes them to Rome, where they are immersed in a deadly competition to locate it. Along the way, they find they are looking for more than just a religious document. Indeed, an even more damaging secret awaits.
Interspersed throughout the narrative, events from a half century ago gain importance. It is 1943, and German occupied Rome is a powder keg. Jews are being rounded up in the streets. The threat of the bombing is a daily reality. Allied forces, aiming for the capital, are advancing up the boot of Italy. German armies, resolutely seeking to stop them, prepare to fight in the streets of Rome itself. Communist cells plan terrorist attacks. One Vatican priest, seeing an Allied victory as the only solution, works behind the scenes for the liberation of the city. Another, a monsignor of the Curia, collaborates with the occupiers. Repelled by this, a crusading priest from Croatia rebels openly against the Pope’s authority, calling on him to resist the Nazi’s. A terrified Pope attempts a desperate balancing act to guide the Church through these dangers. All comes to a head at the Ardeatine Grotto, where the Nazi’s massacre over three hundred innocent people.
The crimes of the those days, refusing to stay buried, comprise the secret awaiting Ross and Sabrina. They discover that the evils of war, far from remaining in the past, reverberate right up to the present day, putting both their lives in great danger.