Facts and fictions in the movie ‘The Two Popes’

The movie, 'The Two Popes' has been released in the second half of 2019 and left many questions behind. In a piece of Aleteia, there are some answers which can shed a light on facts and fictions of the movie.


While the film is accurate in many ways, the director and screenwriter also repeat many false stories that circulated shortly after Francisco’s election. At that time, photos appeared in the media showing a bishop and a priest granting communion to the leader of the Argentine military junta, General Videla, suggesting that the future pope was in the photo.

However, the pictures showed a different Argentine bishop from the 1970s (Father Bergoglio was not a bishop at that time) and a different diocesan priest.

In the film, nonetheless, one of the heroes accuses Father Bergoglio of granting communion to the dictator.


Perhaps these plot elements were highlighted in the script to create a kind of balance between the characters who, in the film, listen to each other’s confessions and present themselves as people who make mistakes, have doubts, and sometimes fall.

In this context, during Benedict XVI’s confession in the film to Cardinal Bergoglio, the screenwriters bring up the story of Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the congregation of the Legion of Christ, who committed the sins of sexually molesting his protégés and who had hidden relationships with many women. Benedict XVI mentions his case in the film as his own sin of omission.

However, in light of the documents that have been released, the Vatican had known about the accusations against the Mexican cleric for decades.

It was Benedict XVI himself, one year after the beginning of his pontificate, who withdrew Maciel from sacramental service and sent him to perpetual penance.

See the full article here.

Photo: Netflix 

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