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Cardinal Angelo, a grave and serious priest, is the translator and right-hand man of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. When he incongruously turns up at the University looking for The Doctor, he tells him that they come directly from the Vatican, on a personal recommendatedition from Pope Benedict IX in 1045, and that the Pope requests a personal and secret audience most urgently.
Beseeching The Doctor to help them, he talks of an ancient text, older than the Church itself – the Veritas: The Truth. Buried in the most secret of the Vatican libraries, the Veritas is a short document, but it has driven all who’ve read it to kill themselves.”Doctor, those translators were devout. Believers”, Angelo tells him sombrely, “they took their own lives in the knowledge that suicide is a mortal sin. They read the Veritas – and chose hell.”
Previously, Pope Benedict had given The Doctor an opportunity to atone for his sins, saying he was “more in need of confession than any man breathing”, Angelo reminds The Doctor that this offer of confession still stands.
The Cardinal solemnly escorts The Doctor, Bill and Nardole to the Library of Blasphemy – the Haereticum – where the Veritas is kept under lock and key. But before he is able to observe The Doctor’s examination of the book, he is kidnapped and removed from the simulatedition, leaving his guests completely alone.