The New Odd Couple

Recently, Netflix premiered its much-anticipated film The Two Popes, starring the masterful Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Price as Popes Benedict XVI and Francis, respectively.

It is without a doubt, one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of 2019. The writing, the acting, the cinematography, and the pace are nothing short of fantastic. There is literally not one boring moment. The direction and camera angles make it look like a documentary, shot in real-life action sequences (for want of a better phrase), not unlike last year’s Dunkirk or the just-released 1917. I never thought that the election of a pope could be so exciting.

All true and yet what is also true is that the narrative –the heart of the story–is most decidedly not true.

In an interview with CruxNow, screenwriter Anthony McCarten talked about the screening of his other hit, The Theory of Everything, and how Stephen Hawking purportedly typed two words into his computer, “Broadly true.'”

With a historical piece of this magnitude, is “broadly true” good enough?  I think for many the answer will be yes and they don’t care that a greater fiction is being created in the process.  Benedict and Francis have become the contemporary odd couple.  Neil Simon couldn’t have done a better job and entertainment sells.  

Unlike McCarten’s previous efforts, however, we are not talking about mere creative license here.  The moral of the story (so to speak) is counter-historical in almost every sense, conforming perfectly to the modern globalist agenda. It is propaganda of a piece with what Disney did to the Star Wars canon, in which the life-arc of Luke Skywalker is turned upside-down and inside-out and the entire history of the Jedi religion is rendered inconsequential. For all intents and purposes, Star Wars had become a modern Iliad. Worse, its heroic, masculine ethos, offended the present feminist dogma. Disney, in order to get more life out of it (and to pander to modern, sensibilities) deliberately, albeit foolishly, destroyed all that was good about it. 

When it comes to The Two Popes, there is nothing “broadly true.”  Not even marginally true.  Bergoglio did not in 2012 fly to Italy to meet with Pope Benedict at Castel Gandolfo to ask for permission to retire.  The two men did not spend days together getting to know each other.  Pope Benedict did not give Cardinal Bergoglio advance knowledge of his intention to resign. He did not tell him that he regarded himself as no longer fit to be pope. He did not reveal that he had decided Bergoglio would be the perfect choice to replace him.  At least not according to John Waters in First Things who calls the movie “a dangerous and misguided” effort.

Pope Francis also did not coin the phrase, “open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit.”  That honor belongs to Cardinal Carlo Martini, another Jesuit, and leader of the St Gallen mafia who was credited with working behind the scenes to overthrow Benedict.  According to Austen Ivereigh’s The Great Reformer, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio frequently quoted Martini.  He did it again this week when he warned of “rigidity” and how “the church must adapt or it will become increasingly irrelevant.”  The problem is that both statements were attributed to Francis in the movie.  Perhaps he is trying to buy his character in the movie some legitimacy after the fact.   It’s all about the message with him.  The truth is another matter altogether.  

In short, The Two Popes has “agenda” written all over it.  If you missed it in the beginning, you’ll see it in the end.  Walls come down (as in border walls) and taking care of the environment becomes a Christian imperative.   The character of Pope Francis is so sympathetic, particularly when compared to the stodgy portrayal of Pope Benedict, you can’t help but be drawn into all he represents.  The last scenes show him traveling all over the globe and drawing huge audiences everywhere. No mention, however, is made of his continued inability to deal with the clerical homosexual scandal and inconsistent bromides and proclamations that cause heartburn for Catholics everywhere.

In retrospect, this movie is so one-sided it’s almost cartoonish.  Unfortunately, so little is known about how these popes operate behind the scenes, that millions of people will be more than happy to let McCarten fill in the gaps.  In fact, his imagination is so strikingly consistent with the globalist agenda, one wonders if George Soros contributed to the making of this film.  For all we know, that bit McCarten said about Hawking may have been “feel good” fiction, too.  If it didn’t happen, Hawking is no longer here to refute it.  I’m left wondering what is true other than the backdrop of events which we already know.  McCarten picked another good subject, though.  Like Hawking, the popes in question will never bother to set the record straight.  In a very real sense, he is creating the truth, only it is his truth, which of course propounds the globalist agenda.     

Interesting movie.  Great acting.  McCarten’s script?  Effective.  Frighteningly, effective.          


  1. Michael Bauman says

    Unfortunately, the Christian sacramental imperative to dress and keep the earth has been perverted into an tryannical  anti-human political agenda

    • Michael, it  is displacement and religion’s new face has to land somewhere.!! ? 
      As u say we do face vast problems re this Planet of  ours and digging more coal out of the ground is not the solution.  If the great man so up for coal why  does he  not send his sons down the coal Mine?  Might be a good move. 

    • Noah Deslin says

      Republican Rome was ruled by duumvirs, allowing for dictators only in time of turmoil until Caesar established the permanent dictatorship of the evil empire that killed Jesus and stole his religion.

  2. Can’t say I’m terribly surprised. When I saw the trailer for this several months back I knew it would be well made globalist propaganda. As much as I enjoy both actors I could never stomach sitting through it. 

  3. I saw it and wasn’t impressed. It was mostly fiction. If there is a sequel, they need to include Pachamama in it, since Francis seems to love that demon.

  4. First, I caught this headline around Francis, in which he’s apparently telling teenagers they’re not a ‘disciple of Jesus’ if they try converting non-believers:

    Secondly, regarding Star Wars and Disney’s Maoist vision of burning temples and libraries, erasing history, dismantling ‘power structures’ through subversion and murder, this latest trilogy is a cynical, revolutionary blueprint. Even Time magazine admits “it opened a window in this somewhat weary franchise, setting up a story in which the old guard, consisting largely of white men, would pass the reins to a younger generation, that more accurately reflects the world the audience lives in. It was a fantasy that also carried threads of resonance in that world.”

    Indeed, Disney has turned Luke Skywalker into a cynical, resentful and failed ‘projection’ of his former self; Han Solo into a deadbeat, cheating father whose wife, Princesses Leia, engages in some kind of lesbian relationship with Laura Dern’s LGBT character and whose son, Ben Solo, murders him; Lando Calrissian is ‘gender fluid’ and ‘pansexual’ meaning he’s “sexually interested in men, women, and droids, including both Han Solo.” And the two actors portraying Poe and Finn have suggested, and advocated that their characters are homosexual.

    And as far as Netflix is concerned, any cursory view of their ‘content’ belies their agenda.

  5. Of course, it’s not a direct quote.
    The journalist may have ‘misgendered’ the meaning of what he said.

    • The whole movie was a disappointment for me. The environmentalist and PC talk is the only thing I could identify as representing the truth about the person of Pope Francis.

      I loved it when Pope Benedict XVI counseled Cardinal Bergoglio to always say the opposite of what he means, that way the Press will “misquote” him and report accurately. ?. I must say though that his character seemed borrowed from Anthony Hopkins’ other works.

  6. In fairness I think he meant that preaching at someone in uninvited way, will never move anyone but antagonise. I had this at work in hospital where i shared office with two evangelical anglicans who inspite of me mentioning politely that I was an Orthodox Christian, which seemed to get them more animated, they kept on at me to come to their church. What the Pope meant was people will be attracted by how we live the faith. Very true. At the moment with us Orthodox it’s a bad look.

  7. Michael Bauman says

    Nikos, I hope you are correct. My step-daughter is a lovely, kind and generous person who somewhere along the way came to dislike God, or so she says. Her mother-in-law is one of those “Jesus-every-other-word-convert-now” folks. My step-daughter hates it, but she loves her husband and her mother-in-law loves the children. Still, it makes it much more difficult for her mother and I, with a better story to tell, to be heard.

    “Pushing” Jesus does no one any good. What seems to work much better is the “rest of the story” approach. You demonstrate kindness, love, care and interest. If they want to know more you tell them “the rest of the story”, but only in small bites. We are supposed to be fishers of men after all. That involves being attractive and available but still cautious.
    These days, it seems to be a much more going for one fish at a time as there is a wariness that was not present before.