Okay, have actually (hate the phrase, but...) laughed out loud already and only a short way in. Marvelous way with a phrase, but then he's known for that in his theological writings so I guess it carries over nicely to his fiction.
How can you not enjoy this sort of character description:
"The little priest was so much the essence of those Eastern flats; he had a face as round and dull as a Norfolk dumpling; he had eyes as empty as the North Sea; he had several brown paper parcels, which he was quite incapable of collecting. The Eucharistic Congress had doubtless sucked out of their local stagnation many such creatures, blind and helpless, like moles disinterred."