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Friday, 3 November, 2000, 16:53 GMT
Vatican's bid to censure Graham Greene
Pope Paul
Pope Paul VI later told Greene to forget the row
The Vatican put pressure on the Catholic author Graham Greene to change one of his most successful novels, The Power and the Glory, according to letters published this week in the US.

The letters reveal that Pope Paul VI himself later told the author not to pay any attention.

Graham Greene, a convert to Catholicism, died in 1991.

An American Jesuit researcher has discovered correspondence relating to attempts by the Vatican to muzzle Graham Greene in 1953.

The Holy Office, formerly the Inquisition, wrote to the then Archbishop of Westminster to tell Greene - 14 years after publication of the novel - that they had passed an adverse verdict on the book.

Whiskey-addled priest

The book's subject was a whiskey-addled priest from Mexico.

While the author's intention had been to bring out victory in spite of man's wretchedness, the Vatican said, this aim had not been achieved.

They accused Greene of injuring the Catholic priesthood.

Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore starred in The End of the Affair, another Catholism-based novel by Greene
The author, a devout Catholic, was deeply upset and drafted a reply, which was never sent.

The novelist Evelyn Waugh, a friend, called the Vatican's denunciation a vile misreading of a noble book and advised him to wait another 14 years before sending his own reply.

During a private audience with Pope Paul VI many years later, the Pope told Graham Greene that some parts of his books would always offend some Catholics and he advised him to pay no attention to the condemnation by the Holy Office.

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