Sex is basic."". . . mutters a priest in this ecumenical trust buster. ""I'm forty years old and I've never slept with a woman."" Randy Father Flanheran is not unique in this pen-full of noisy prelates: they cuss out each other and the Church. They also throw verbal spitballs at the Vatican in the course of fighting a conservative appointee who will twist the liberal Catholic community into line after the death of a popular, heavily secular bishop. Taking a good deal of the flak is Sam Kinkaid, editor of the Rockville Catholic Times, which had been headlining news of social concern, experimental masses and new directions in Catholic thought. Sam has a personal problem, estrangement from his wife Marnie, and his innocent encounters with a sympatica co-worker supply fuel for right-wing blackmail. Conservative forces win but Sam and his liberalizing cohorts are determined to stick with the Church yet march to a different un-dogmatic drum. Father Flanheran? Self-defrocked, married to a young thing presumably innocent of the trials of deprivation. An expedient, uncouth rendering of a serious, contemporary concern Vatican rag.