By now the novels about priests on the griddle are legion, and categories are beginning to emerge--this is of the priest-sex-and-marriage genre, with a high caloric sex count. Father Frank McCabe, vaguely discontented in his New York City parish where he served as curate to old Monsignor Scanlon and chafing at the practical instances he sees of the Church's rigid authoritarianism, is not seriously disoriented until he impulse-stops off at Nice on his way to a Roman vacation and meets Michele. The two become lovers. When pressed by the impossible double life, Father McCabe prepares to leave the priesthood, confesses to Michele, who, perhaps because of his overwhelming love and ""vulnerability,"" marries him. All the problems of ex-priests--finding a job, concealing a past--nearly break up the marriage. He does want to continue being a priest and be married! At the close, Michele's love gives him hope for a new start. The author's critical and fierce view of urban clerical politics give this the weight of some passion, but the novel shares the faults of its predecessors--the prosecution is apt to overstate the case even with a hung jury.