Brian Moore‘s novel, The Colour of Blood, was published in 1987, before the fall of Communism in the Soviet bloc.  Its engaging action occurs in an unnamed Eastern European country, and the leader of the Catholic church there, Cardinal Bem, is a man honorable and peaceable and not at all fanatically anti-government.

However, as in his novel Black Robe, Moore, clearly lapsed, attempts to present the Catholic church as morally unworthy—unworthy in a way Cardinal Bem is not.  For there exists in this church a politically extremist faction which manages to kidnap Bem with the aim of blaming it on the Communist government.  False blame, then, will fall upon the Reds, but honest blame belongs to the Catholics.

Moore understands the far-reaching complexity in countries where there is tension between totalitarians and religious institutions, but he refuses to side with Catholic institutions.  Indeed, he tacitly deems the Church philosophically suspect since even the silence-of-God idea springs up before the novel’s last sentence—“The silence of God: would it change at the moment of his death?”  To tell the truth, it is no wonder Moore was Graham Greene‘s favorite living novelist.  Both men are unsuitable intellectual guides.