Should Catholics watch 'The Two Popes' on Netflix?
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Should Catholics watch The Two Popes? A new movie from Netflix explores imagined conversations between Popes Benedict XVI and Francis.
'The Two Popes' has plenty of comic relief, but it is a drama that deals with substantive issues and may prove thought provoking for many Catholics.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - First of all, what is The Two Popes?
The Two Popes is a new movie coming to Netflix on December 20. It has been showing in select theaters since November 27. It is set in 2012, the year before Pope Benedict XVI chose to resign. Anthony Hopkins plays the role of Benedict. Jonathan Pryce plays as Cardinal Bergoglio, who is now Pope Francis. The film explores a series of imagined conversations between the two men during a time when the Church faced intense scrutiny over her politics and alleged scandals.
The film is classified as a drama, but based on the trailer, it is also filled with many lighthearted moments that will invite laughter and provide amusement and relief.
A central conflict in the film is both Benedict and Bergoglio's mutual desire to resign while both men try to convince the other to remain at their posts. Over time, the men have several meetings and conversations which drive the film. Of course, we know pretty much how the story ends, but that isn't the point. The point is to explore the transformation of both of these great men and how they appear to have wrangled with the issues that still rock and shape the Church today.
But the main question is whether or not Catholics should watch this film, especially since the conversations between the two men are fictional.
Based on the trailer, the film appears to respect both men as well as the Church. It is not excessively comedic, nor does it seem to criticize the Church or invite scandalous questions that are grossly inappropriate. This is remarkable at a time when the Church and its priesthood in particular are too often used as a punching bag for the media and a punch line for wretched jokes.
Of course, I have not yet seen the film, but it does not appear to be offensive.
Hollywood being what it is, it is likely there will be some minor points of order which the knowledgeable Catholic could raise. But in all the film seems to be well written, well made, features star talent, and may provide healthy food for thought for the Catholic mind, or so it is hoped.
Of course, if the opposite appears to be true, we will update this story with a follow-up report. But for now, it seems worthy of giving it a try.
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