In ‘The Two Popes,’ an imagined conversation expresses a universal need for tolerance

National Catholic Reporter

November 28, 2019

By Sr. Rose Pacatte

Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce star in “The Two Popes.” (Peter Mountain)
Days after his historic election on March 13, 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, tries to book a ticket to Lampedusa to visit refugees there, but the booking agent hangs up on him because she thinks he is pretending to be the pope.

The film, “The Two Popes,” then flashes back to 2005 to the election of Francis’ predecessor, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Anthony Hopkins), following the death of the long-reigning, now canonized Pope John Paul II. It is a contested election and Ratzinger obviously wants the job. He is openly worried when Milan Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini and Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) of Buenos Aires, Argentina, receive significant support in early voting. Ratzinger does not try to hide his disdain for the liberation theology-loving Jesuit from Latin America when they walk past each other, even after he is elected and takes the name Benedict XVI.

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