A bored and frustrated Englishman leaves his fiancee and takes his model airplane business to France. There, he is immediately contacted by a beautiful, mysterious Frenchwoman who teaches English, and whose son is a Maoist revolutionary.
In the near future, the Catholic church has joined with other western religions in an ecumenical movement that has washed out much of the original message of the religion. A group of Irish monks have begun saying the mass again in Latin and have begun to have an international following. Martin Sheen is sent from Rome to bring them to task and they must confront what is truly essential in their worship and what is not.