It might be as much of a thriller as 'Angels and Demons' by Dan Brown or 'The Fifth Gospel' by Ian Caldwell. And it might be as informative as 'God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power' at the Vatican by Gerald Posner.
But two new books, about to be published about the inner workings of the Vatican including corrupt practices, and two arrests made of two members of a papal reform commission on Monday have opened up the possibilities of more intriguing and exciting news from the Vatican than the Pope's regular homilies.
The Vatican on Monday said it had arrested two persons, both advisors to Pope Francis, on suspicion of leaking classified information pointing to a faction war taking place within the Holy See between supporters of Pope Francis' reforms and those who oppose it.
There are indications that some of the conservative top brass in the Catholic Church might be resorting to political skuldugery to thwart the Pope's agenda for reform.
Meanwhile, the upcoming books — including one by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi whose 2012 book on a so-called "Vatileaks" scandal rocked the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI — are set to offer fresh revelations into fraud and mismanagement as well as challenges to Francis's push for changes that reach into the Vatican's inner workings, according to The Washington Post.
The two persons arrested were Spanish priest Rev. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, former secretary of Francis's financial and bureaucratic reform committee, and Francesca Chaouqui, an Italian public relations executive known as the "the pope's lobbyist."
Chaouqui was released on Monday but Balda is still under arrest, Vatican sources said.
The Washington Post said Balda, a 54-year-old monsignor and veteran of Vatican affairs, was hand picked by Francis help guide his bid to overhaul the Vatican bureaucracy, known as the Curia. He is understood to be the one who brought in Chaouqui, 33, to join Francis's reform commission.
In an interview with the Boston Globe last year, she said enemies of the pope were responsible for the criticisms against her. "Unfortunately for the peace of mind of those enemies, we're still here and the reform is still happening," she said.
The Post said Francis, according to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, was briefed on the arrests before they happened. The investigation was managed by the Vatican's gendarmerie corps, which controls most security, law enforcement and fire fighting coordination in the city-state apart from direct papal protection, which is handled by the famed Swiss Guard.
Asked whether the pope would intervene in the judicial process, Lombardi would only say that said the Francis "respects the competence of Vatican institutions."
The arrests come just prior to the release of two books, scheduled for Thursday, that touch on fraud and mismanagement in the Catholic Church and the power politics within the Vatican. Vatican spokesmen claimed the authors of these books were part of "an operation that takes advantage of a seriously unlawful act of unlawful delivery of confidential documents – an operation whose legal implications and possibly penalties are under study."
In one book titled "Merchants in the Temple," the author Gianluigi Nuzzi is said to draws on documents, interviews and recordings of Francis speaking in closed-door meetings and castigating top leaders for wasting money and corruption. Details about the whys and wherefores of Pope Benedict stepping down are also expected to be revealed in the two books.