Two Popes, One Leader, and a Lifetime Commitment. The amazing story of Papal transition from Pope Benedict to Pope Francis, and the commitment of the Catholic Church to represent its people worldwide.
The Two Popes is an attempt to portray the Papal transition from Pope Benedict to Pope Francis to govern and reform the future of the Catholic Church.
The movie is inspired by true events occurring during the Papal transition between the largely known scholar Pope Benedict to Pope Francis knows widely as the “People’s Pope.” The story details and does an excellent job in showing distinct differences and leadership styles amongst two highly respected Archbishops running for the highest governing office in the Catholic Church. The storyline commences with election voting for a new Pope upon the death of the Pope John Paul II. The election intensity between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis indicates the internal strength of millennial-long institutional structures within the Catholic Church, and the favoritism of the Church members to maintain the status quo as represented and proved by the election of Pope Benedict. Although a couple reformists are nominated and later each nominee lobbies to join forces to bring forward a reforming agenda for the Catholic Church with the election of a forward-thinking Pope, the establishment within the Catholic Church votes to maintain the status quo by electing Pope Benedict. Pope Benedict’s leadership style is authoritative, scholarly-driven, and highly respected within the Vatican circles. His lavish approach to the office and a series of controversial re-assertions of centuries-old rules established by the Catholic-church leave him exposed when his closest confidante is convicted for a series of financial crimes and child abuses. As an accomplished scholar, Pope Benedict realizes that the power grip is slipping through his hands and acknowledges a need to reform the Catholic Church from within the Vatican walls. This is particularly important and seriously courageous for a Pope who is expected to govern for life to foresee a need to fortify the structure of millennial-years long institutions and quickly rectify by letting go of pride and power that already installed him as the lifetime leader of the Catholic Church. Situations of this nature require visionary leaders to recognize own weaknesses and make hard decision that benefit the people in general and the Catholic Church in particular. This set of skills is not only undoubtedly worthy of praise, but more importantly, it is commendable. In the conundrum of financial and sexual scandals, the “People’s Pope” presents himself as the most viable candidate given his commitment to the poor and the Catholic Church’s commitment to most vulnerable. The happy-ending of the movie is a reminder that despite differences, leadership requires going beyond oneself and selfless sacrifices for the greater good of the represented people.
Leadership means selflessly serving the people you represent. It means conducting oneself in the interest of the greater good. It is a reminder that responsible leadership requires vision and a set of abilities to attentively listen the concerns of the people one represents.