Netflix has released a drama based on an imaginary meeting between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, the roles played superbly by Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins. Sadly I cannot recommend it. 1/10 is my paltry score.
The reason for the low score has nothing to do with acting talent or production values, these are high, it is due to the overall content. This is a dishonest programme that forgoes truth to push the tired and predictable political agenda of Hollywood elites. Bottom line; liberal leftism is good, conservative morality is bad.
Expect to see “conservative” Benedict presented as a grumpy old goat who is out of touch and needs replacing. Replacing by “liberal” Francis the enlightened progressive who is ushering in the brave new era. We are essentially told that all will be well, pleasant and touching even, so long as past it conservatives step aside and allow with-it progressives to take over. Move aside traditional Christian thinking let a radical new leftist activism determine the life of the church. All hail the Anglicanisation of Rome!
Meanwhile, in the real world, the Benedict papacy saw optimism creeping back into the life of the church whilst the Francis era has been blighted by controversy, chaos and growing divide. Rumours are rife of a lavender mafia active in the highest levels of the Vatican. I have no idea if this is true but we have certainly witnessed a return to the centre of figures mired in scandal, such as Cardinals Ricca, Daneels, Maradiaga and Cocopalmerio. The drama investigates none of this, of course. It is just Benedict bad, Francis good, which is a great disservice to both of them.
What a shame the acting talent wasn’t used to make something better informed, more balanced and genuinely interesting. Who needs made up stories of life in the Vatican when so many fascinating stories, good and bad, surround it in truth?!