01x06 - Episode 06

Edgar!

What did he die of?

The same thing our Church is going to die of.

Old age.

[ NINE MONTHS LATER ]

...et apostolicae fidei cultoribus.

What is it about that statuette that you find so sensual?

I'd prefer not to delve into my psyche.

Holy Father, donations have declined.

Revenues from religious taxes, which our bishops and dioceses depend on for their survival, have declined, tourist visits to the Vatican have declined, greatly reducing the influx of funds to Vatican City.

There is not much that the Vatican Bank can do.

Our days of free willing finances are over.

Changes in banking regulations mean that our hands are now tied.

If we continue on this course, we'll be forced to start selling off our artistic patrimony simply to survive.

The faithful will return.

It's a natural cycle.

For now, the faithful are not returning.

And small but dangerous enclaves of Catholic fundamentalism are starting to spring up, just like in Islam.

Islam has more followers than the Catholic Church.

Don't you find it a burden to take on the responsibility of such risky and unpopular decisions?

No.

Your Holiness, who are you, really?

Therefore, by the authority of the almighty God of Saint Peter and Paul and by our Own, this venerable brother of ours, we create and solemnly proclaim of the Holy Roman Church, Cardinal Bernardo Alonso Gutierrez.

Receive the ring from the hands of Peter.

And know that through the love of the Prince of the Apostles your love for the Church is strengthened.

Push. Push more.

Push! Pushing, ok.

Ok, Esther.

Ok, Esther.

Push more.

Push. Very good, Very good.

Ok, Esther, ok, ok, ok.

Keep pushing, keep pushing now.

Ok.

Ok, ok.

Now let us offer the prayer that Christ has given us as the model of all prayers: Kyrie Eléison.

Christe Eléison.

Kyrie Eléison.

Pater Noster, qui es in Caelis, sanctificetur Nomen Tuum.

Adveniat Regnum Tuum.

Fiat voluntas Tua, sicut in Caelo, et in Terra.

Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.

Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo.

Let us pray.

The Pope told me I would become a cardinal.

He didn't keep his promise.

I don't know...

This Pope...

I don't know... I don't know...

But I know so many things...

If I were to speak...

I don't know...

And now it's time for me to bid you all farewell.

I should have done it before, but the Holy Father kept me in Rome so I could begin work on my new responsibilities.

I beg your pardon for only coming back here after nine months to... to say goodbye and turn right around and head back to Rome.

But before I leave, I'd like to introduce you to the new bishop of San Pedro Sula, Monsignor Jorge Aguero.

I know Monsignor Aguero very well.

He's a hero.

From this pulpit he will shout at you to forsake evil, to fight against the gangs, to say no to death, to violence and the narcotrafficking that infests Honduras.

He will refuse to give communion to crime bosses and he will refuse to perform weddings for their daughters.

Yes, he will do all the things that I have failed to do.

Yes, because I'm not a hero.

Because...

I'm afraid.

Like you.

Perhaps that is why you have loved me, just a little. No?

Because I didn't make you uncomfortable.

I never asked you to choose.

I never blackmailed you by saying that in order to be good Christians you had to let yourselves be murdered by the henchmen of the drug cartels.

I loved you for the way you were... not for the way you ought to be.

Now I bid you farewell. I'm going to Rome.

But that's not going home for me.

I want you to know that, as far as I'm concerned, Honduras is and always will be ...my home.

Attention!

Flowers!

This is for the baby.

Oh, you shouldn't have, Holy Father.

It's a Bible that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, the President of the United States, but it's like new, he never opened it.

We certainly can't blame Jefferson, the Bible isn't light reading.

We named him Pius.

A name for a bird.

He'll fly high!

Do you want to hold him, Your Holiness?

That really would be an unusual experience for me.

And for Peter and I would be an honor.

Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr. Pius XIV.

It's a pity we can't remember what we smelled like when we were babies.

I do remember what my parents smelled like.

He takes after you.

But if you look closely, he also takes a little...

No. He's a very good-looking baby.

He resembles his mother.

Holy Father.

Forgive me. I'm such a fool.

My hands only know how to bless people.

It's all right, nothing happened.

I'm such an idiot.

We all have to get used to new things, Holy Father.

Nothing happened.

Yes, yes you're right, Peter.

Valente, was there something you wanted to tell me?

Holy Father, the Italian Prime Minister is waiting for you in the Vatican.

Of course, it slipped my mind.

Esther, I must go.

In my head, I'll be at this audience but in my heart I'll never have left this room.

It's surprising to see how a young woman, just moments after having a child, can be transformed into a mother.

Mr. Prime Minister, please allow me to recommend extreme caution with the Pope.

The information I've received suggests that he's more diabolical than saintly.

Excellent! He's finally meeting his match.

Eminence!

Welcome, Mr. Prime Minister, the Holy Father is expecting you.

Thanks.

This way please.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Good morning.

We'll be late for the audience!

Good morning.

Are you asleep, Holy Father?

No, Mr. Prime Minister. I'm praying for you, That's very thoughtful of you.

And thanks very much for giving me this audience, after just nine months.

I didn't think you'd be running the Country this long.

I said to myself: why bother?

But I was wrong.

Well, how is this Italy of ours doing?

Much better, thanks to me.

You think so?

Yes.

I think just the opposite.

If you wanted to do "much better", perhaps you should keep firmly in mind this list of requests.

I jotted it down in a hurry just a few minutes ago.

If there's anything I've left off, I can certainly add it to the list.

I make sure you receive it promptly.

Greater assistance to Catholic families, no to common law marriages, no to gay marriages, more money to Catholic schools, further tax and banking benefits to the Holy See, absolute prohibition of abortion in all cases, absolute prohibition of divorce in all cases, no to any temptation to accept euthanasia, restrictions on the religious freedom of Muslims and Hindus, a reopening of discussions on the Lateran Pacts, a full review of the territorial boundaries of the Vatican State.

This last request really is remarkable, I have to admit.

I didn't know that you had expansionistic ambitions.

But I was told before coming that this new Pope is a very funny man.

But did they forget to inform you that this new Pope is a man who's far more intelligent than you?

No. Because it isn't true.

Do you know what the difference is between me and you, Holy Father?

Let's hear.

The difference is that I was elected with 41% of the votes.

That 41% exists.

You were elected by God.

And it's not a sure thing that God exists.

Fine!

There's another element worthy of your consideration: just in case God does happen to exist, do you know how long it would take Him to wipe that 41% off the face of the earth?

And where will God eradicate that 41%?

At the polls in the next election?

Or in their homes while they're watching TV?

Or perhaps in their sleep!

At the polls in the next election.

And what's more: I, as the vicar of Christ, will be happy to help God eradicating that 41%.

And if don't stop playing the idiot, I'm gonna be forced to prove to you that God does exists.

Let me explain something to you, Holy Father.

Please.

Your demands... might have some basis in fact at any other point in history.

At a point in history when the Church was stronger than it is right now, the Italian political equation would have been obliged to take your demands under serious consideration.

The way it always has in the past.

But now let us briefly analyze your Papacy, Holy Father.

In the past nine months you have never shown yourself to the faithful, you have not recited a single Angelus in St. Peter's Square, you have not communicated with anyone, you have simply retreated into your palace on the hill and you have threatened and terrorized the faithful, through your terse and telegraphic communiqués in L'Osservatore Vaticano, with obscurantist and retrograde theses.

The result has been that, according to a number of highly respected studies, Italian Catholics have turned away from the Church en masse.

This new development not only allows me to ignore your requests, but it gives me an even greater opportunity: finally to modernize Italy.

Without fear of retaliation or the risk of losing support among voters, I can review the colossal fraud of the eight per thousand Church tax, finally imposing punitive taxes on the dioceses, and, most important of all, I can finally free the country from the pork barrels, stumbling blocks, and vetoes of the Holy Roman Church in the areas of euthanasia, common law marriages, gay couples, abortion, scientific research.

To cut a long story short, Holy Father, thanks to you I can start a revolution.

A very persuasive speech.

I'm glad we're finally beginning to talk sense.

Persuasive and stupid, I might add, like every politicians' speech.

And what's more, unrealizable.

Unrealizable?

We shall see about that!

Now, if you'd care to listen to me, I'll show you that God exists, and how God and I can annihilate that 41% of the population that makes you feel so cheerful and full of yourself.

I am very eager to hear what you have to say, Holy Father.

I'm glad.

You see, Mr. Prime Minister, in the Sixties the young people that protested in the streets spouted all kind of heresies, all except one: power to the imagination.

In that, they were correct.

The only problem was they had no imagination.

And neither do you.

But God and I have plenty.

God and I are simply dripping with imagination.

Now, just try and imagine something with me: in six months, Italy will hold the general elections, and you will try to maintain or increase your 41% share of the electorate.

And right now everything indeed points to your ability to maintain that 41%.

Yeah.

But just imagine, a few weeks before the election, it comes an announcement.

Pope Pius XIII has decided to appear in public for the very first time.

To talk to the Italian Catholics.

What morbid curiosity!

The whole world is dying of curiosity.

And it is absolutely to be expected, it's normal, we all want to see that which is hidden, we all want to stare the forbidden in the face.

Pius XIII appears and so do his beautiful blue-eyes... and this soft, round mouth.

A dazzling image, so dazzling it blinds people.

In other words, a powerful, an evocative image, not unlike that of Christ.

But Pius XIII doesn't merely dazzle, he offers reassurance as well.

With a magnificent speech, full of quotations in Latin, it tells them that they, the faithful, must not be afraid.

And how could they be afraid, with a Pope as handsome and reassuring as Christ?

Last of all, just a few short weeks before the elections, the Pope says just two words:

"non expedit".

Do you know what that means?

No.

No, of course you don't. You're far too young.

The "non expedit" was first issued by Pius IX in 1868.

It was eliminated by Benedict XV in 1919, but guess what I can do?

What I, who am not answerable to 41% of the Italians, but only to God who, by the way, does not express His displeasure on social networks if I make a mistake.

Guess what I can do?

I can restore the "non expedit".

The Catholics will all rush to Google those words.

What do they mean?

The "non expedit" means that the Holy Father decrees it is unacceptable for Catholics to vote in the Italian elections.

And do you know what the surveys that you have commissioned tell us?

They tell us that the number of Italians who identify themselves as Catholics are 87.8% of the population.

Now you may say to me: "they could simply disobey you."

True.

But while a Catholic might disobey the Pope, they'd never disobey Christ.

I'm already the former, but believe me, if I want to, I can have myself accredited as the latter as well, and when I do, you'll lose your election.

Here's how it works: since you get 31% of your votes from the Catholic electorate, ah, you'd wind up with a mere 10%.

I wouldn't be so sure of those numbers, if I were you.

Mr. Prime Minister, take a look in this mirror.

What do you see?

Two young men.

One of whom is dressed in a slightly odd style.

I, on the other hand, see two media events.

One has already taken place, that's you.

The other is about to happen.

Now, having set out... to prove to you the existence of God, I believe I'm done.

But in that case, why... why haven't you appeared in public yet?

Because there's still no need.

You weren't all that wrong: this Pope is diabolical.

Good morning.

This Pope is a saint.

I can say that much after my meeting with the Holy Father.

A warm, productive and stimulating meeting.

Nonetheless, substantial disagreements remain with the Holy See.

The Italian government, despite the Pontiff's misgivings, will continue the efforts to legalize common law marriages, no matter what the sexual orientation is.

And, as you know, the revision of the eight per thousand Church tax is approaching and will be the subject of our next cabinet meeting.

Holy Father, would you like me to see what I can do to mend the relations with the Italian Government?

He's bluffing.

Who?

The young man in a hurry who's speaking on TV right now.

He's selling smoke and mirrors.

He won't do a thing he says.

Holy Father, I've read the draft bills that have already been approved by the various commissions.

These people are deadly serious.

The revision of the eight per thousand Church tax would threaten the survival of the Italian bishops.

Would that be such a bad thing?

What do we care? You and I are the Holy See.

The Italian bishops can take care of themselves.

Holy Father, I beg you, this is no laughing matter.

Rest easy, he's bluffing.

Holy Father, believe me, political awareness is an archetypal emotion for the Secretary of State.

Soccer mania is an archetypal emotion for the Secretary of State.

I want to let you know that I've been working hard on something new.

On what?

A measure forbidding priests from giving absolution in the confessional to women who have had abortions.

Its a kind of soft, disguised form of excommunication.

Holy Father, we will wake up and find the women of the world, led by the Femen, rushing the walls of the Vatican, hammers in hand, bent on destruction.

Fine. We'll rebuild those walls, taller and finer.

Old and unreliable Rorschach tests orders to investigate intrusively into the past of aspiring priests, young men paid bounties to lure those aspiring priests into compromising sexual situations as soon as they're allowed out into the world.

That's what I read in the directive I found on my desk this morning, drawn up by who knows what renegade underling while I was in Honduras.

Drawn up by me!

Every candidate for priesthood takes a vow of chastity.

Their sexual predilections are irrelevant.

Every candidate for priesthood takes a vow of chastity and none of them respect them.

That's the truth.

Well, I'm telling you no.

Lenny, I'm not okay with this.

I didn't go looking for my parents.

Instead, I went back to the orphanage, in order to be with my friend Andrew Dussolier, who was all I had left in the world.

That was the beginning.

You owe me, as a friend, as a man of the cloth who acknowledges my authority, you must do what I ask.

Here you are: Sanchez Angelo.

My superiors have determined that you are neither suited for nor worthy of the priesthood.

You are prohibited from requesting admission to a seminary, in your home diocese or in any other, for seven years.

Why?

Put in simpler terms, the sexual disturbances afflicting you are unacceptable in terms of our standards.

What do you want?

Your resignation.

Otherwise... our order will threaten a schism.

A schism?

Just try it.

I'll strip you of all you have.

Everything.

Your beds, your tunics, your underpants, all those wonderful monasteries you have in the most wonderful, loveliest places on earth.

Because all that belongs to me.

Are you ready to live on the street? Like St. Francis of Assisi?

Are you ready to sleep on the ground, kicked and spat upon by junkies, and homeless people, and drunks?

I'm ready to wage a war without end against you.

Are you ready to wage that war, armed with nothing but bottomless poverty?

I didn't think so.

And in that case, stop talking bullshit and get yourselves some shoes, because the air in here is unbreathable.

Angelo Voiello?

Jesus.

Who sent you? Pius XIII?

No, Raffaele Esposito, the magistrate.

Captain Becchi is here and he would like to ask you a few questions.

And I'll be happy to provide him with some answers.

This is for you.

Read it!

[ DEVOTED FAN THE MAN BEHIND THE SCENES ]

What do you recommend?

Father Antonello did a great job with "A Great Little Soul", So did Liliana with "A Man"...

I'll take "1001 Illustrious Names Blackmailed by Angelo Voiello."

There, only there.

[ PLEASE DO NOT SIT ]

May I have some cane sugar?

We don't have any cane sugar, Captain.

Eminence, do you have any idea why I'm here?

The owner of the "Er Core de Roma" restaurant... must have filed a complaint against me.

Last week he claimed that Maradona is still on drugs, and I really lashed out at him.

I said: "You ugly sh1t, don't you dare take the Lord's name in vain again."

No, Your Eminence, we're here about Tonino Pettola. Do you know him?

Who?

Tonino Pettola.

Ah, yes. Of course, I know his reputation, a lousy reputation, let me add.

He's a notorious con artist who claims he can pick out the Blessed Virgin Mary amid his flock of sheep.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has repeatedly and vehemently rejected his applications.

Have you ever met him personally?

Never.

Pettola's relatives claim the exact opposite.

They say that Tonino Pettola, one evening a few months ago, in his home met with you, the Pope and other Cardinals.

From that moment on he seemed shocked and obsessed with your meeting because they say that you threatened to throw him in quicksand.

Does it strike you as plausible, Captain, that the Cardinals, the Secretary of State and the Pope would all go to Tonino Pettola's house and threaten to throw him in quicksand?

It does seem strange but not implausible.

Why? What happened to Tonino Pettola?

He disappeared.

His relatives claim he was being persecuted by persons high up in the Vatican.

Do you really think we'd waste our time on a poor raving lunatic?

That poor man had followers all around the world and was about to found his own Church.

He's not the only one, Captain.

At least two crazies pop up every day.

If the Vatican were to persecute and threaten them all, it wouldn't have time to do anything else.

Phone records reveal that numerous calls from inside the Vatican were made to Pettola.

I believe it.

People are always making calls from the Vatican.

I've been fighting for years against such wasteful behavior.

Waste is not the point, Your Eminence.

Don't you think it's a contradiction?

If Pettola was an insignificant artist and you had no interest in him, why all the phone calls?

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints was in contact with him, doing their best to check his urgent demands.

The calls not only came from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints but also from Your Eminence's offices and from the Pope's.

In the Secretary of State and the Pope's offices there are about 250 employees.

I can't rule out that someone might have had a reason to call Tonino Pettola.

Perhaps someone that believed all his fibs and wanted to meet him.

Do you have any idea where Tonino Pettola might be?

He's probably in some far-flung monastery praying and repenting.

You have an answer for everything, Eminence.

That's my job, Captain.

I've heard the same thing.

What, Captain?

That Maradona is still doing drugs. A friend of mine told me, he's in Intelligence and stationed in Dubai.

Why do you want to hurt me, Captain? Why?

Because I'm a fan of Inter, Your Eminence.

Cardinal Dussolier.

I know you, but you don't know me.

I'm Contessa Emma Meraviglia, the wife of General Meraviglia.

Good evening.

You know, I don't like seeing you all on your own.

I'm accustomed to it, signora.

That's a bad custom to get into.

My girlfriends would compete to keep you company.

And so would I.

In any case, my husband and I will be hosting a party Thursday at our villa.

If you're at loose ends, please come.

It would be an honor for my husband and me.

Ok, thank you. I'll keep it in mind.

Bye.

My name is Angelo Sanchez.

I was born in Alicante into a family of manual laborers and I am not a homosexual.

I had such a simple dream: to serve God.

You murdered my dream.

You are nothing more than a pathetic, miserable, cowardly murderer.

I could have been an excellent priest.

Yeah, you could have.

I want to go home.

What do you mean, home?

We're both orphans.

You too?

Me too.

I was abandoned by my parents when I was just three years old.

Children are so lovely when they are three years of age.

How can anyone abandon a three year old?

Where do you find the nerve?

I never knew you were an orphan, too.

Well... now you know.

Does Lenny know?

No.

And he never will.

Why not?

Because you don't steal the stage from the Pope.

And you don't interfere with his sorrow.