After a long absence.
He is welcome.
Aug 02 2011
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Aug 02 2011
1941, Office of the Archbishop of Spain:
“They just released you?” Archbishop Balbino Oliver eyed the priest standing before his desk with suspicion. Something about the young man unsettled him.
“I believe it was in error. They did not realize I had written so much against Franco. When God spared my life, I enrolled in the seminary.”
He possessed humility. Good. Yet something about the eyes… “Even under the care of the church, Franco may not let you go so easily.”
“Yes, it is best if I left Spain. I could continue my writing in Belgium. I think I can…”
“God granted you a precious gift, my son.” The Bishop leaned back, considering. His left eye. That was it. “It would be unwise to waste the gift with further agitation of forces beyond your control.” Yes, his left eye stared back slightly wider, giving him a permanently quizzical expression. Father Bertolli had mentioned him losing his eye in an accident.
“But the work I’ve been doing…”
“Is against Church official policy.” The Archbishop leaned forward to study the documents the priest had presented him. “You are Basque, no?”
“Yes, but in Belgium…”
“Father Tillous requested an assistant in Mondragon, only 50 miles from where you grew up. Franco is unlikely to bother you, there.”
“Out there, he is unlikely to need to.” The young man bowed his head curtly, murmuring the obligatory goodbye.
The bishop’s gaze followed his receding figure. Even with his back turned, the young man disturbed him. Perhaps something other than his eye then…
Balbino had no way to know, he had just set Don Jose on course to change the world.