01x10 - Episode 10

The world has stopped turning. The world has stopped turning.

For days now something has been happening that we haven't seen for a long time.

News and social networks, the front page of newspapers are not focusing on evil anymore, but on good.

Not on war and terrorism, but on love.

And all of this thanks to Pius the 13th's heartbreaking love letters.

The world has stopped turning.

The world has stopped turning.

To talk about love.

Holy Father, you accorded an audience to the head of the Vatican press office.

She's outside waiting.

Are you sure?

Holy Father, the Italian Prime Minister is continuing to postpone legislation on taxing the Vatican and civil unions.

His left-wing supporters are calling for blood.

Many of them claim that you are behind this, that you are the man who changed the Prime Minister's mind.

And I think the same thing.

That might be the case.

How did you do it?

I humiliated him.

You have no idea how many objectives can be obtained by humiliating ones fellow man.

But there's a secret to it.

What is it?

The person humiliated can't realize they'd been humiliated.

If you don't mind my saying so, you're diabolical.

You think? People that know me well actually say that I'm a saint.

How did it go with the Patriarch of Moscow?

The Patriarch of Moscow is more boring than watching golf on television.

So what is our next set of decisions?

Do you remember that on Wednesday you promised to act as a tour guide in the Vatican museums for a third-grade field trip?

God Almighty, what atrocity can I have committed to deserve that?

I don't know if I'll able to make that appointment, on Wednesday I have to watch golf on TV.

Holy Father, you don't want to disappoint the children, do you?

Ma'am, it's the children who have disappointed me.

Didn't you like your childhood?

All I remember of my childhood it is one day it wasn't there anymore.

Clothes pin.

Have we found any confirmation for David Tanistone's statements?

I would say so.

His mother had a brief affair with Archbishop Kurtwell when they were both attending Catholic University in Washington D.C.

Then they drifted apart.

She, like the devout Catholic that she is, decided to give birth to her son.

After a few years and oppressed by the grim economic straits into which she had drifted, she decided to turn to Kurtwell for help.

Which is how Kurtwell came to know him.

But in the meanwhile, a veritable earthquake had devastated that man's personality and the rubble from it collapsed directly onto that young man.

For the rest of the story, we'll have to ask Kurtwell.

I intend to shake things up a little, and I would like to have you become my personal secretary.

Sister Mary has completed her mission and now, justifiably, she wants to move on.

She's completed her mission?

Yes.

The child Pope has become a man.

He once needed a motherly presence, and he now needs a colleague.

What do you think of my proposal?

That I can't accept.

Why not?

Because it would be hypocritical.

What's hypocritical about it?

I'm a hom...

I'm a homosexual, Holy Father.

And you want to expel all homosexuals from the Church.

Every rule has its exceptions.

But I don't subscribe to the exception that you'd make for me.

I don't subscribe to the rule.

It's a huge mistake not to accept homosexuals.

It's a huge mistake to compare them to pedophiles, the way you do.

An unacceptable generalization.

How can you fail to see, you of all people, Holy Father, you, the author of those heartbreaking love letters, that in pedophilia there is only violence, and in homosexuality there's only love?

You say you don't want to be my personal secretary, but, in actual fact, you're already doing the job.

You offer me some advice.

And that's what a personal secretary does.

But in this case, I don't just want to give the advice.

I want you to accept it.

How many things I accept, Gutierrez, and no one notices!

That's a Pope's fate. That's the fate of power.

Try to reason with me: if I ask you to be my personal secretary, am I not already revising my own beliefs about homosexuality?

Or do you actually believe I knew nothing about your homosexuality?

Or the fact that you were sexually abused as a child?

I knew that, too. That's why I sent you to Kurtwell.

That's why I now want you working by my side.

Because we need to work on the future.

You need the right motivations to do that and you have those.

The right motivations can move the world.

You changed.

Since you came back from your trip.

In what way have I changed?

You've transformed fear into anger.

Very good, Gutierrez.

Very good.

I beg of you, confide in me... the wisest thing you have ever learned.

In the end, more than in God, it is necessary to believe in yourself, Lenny.

Have you got something... a little better?

That's a banal platitude.

If only you knew how true a banal platitude can be, my dear colleague.

After all, look at us, we are power.

And power is a banal platitude.

We will be dealing with you one day, Your Holiness.

What do you mean?

You're going to be a saint! I'm perfectly serious.

I don't need any more steps in my career.

Your prayers, Holy Father, your prayers move God.

When?

Let's stick to the facts and skip the memorable account of what you did at age fourteen in the room of the gravely sick wife of the custodian who was suddenly cured.

Now then, here are the simple facts.

Esther and Peter were infertile, sterile, barren.

The young woman confided in you. And you, Holy Father, you didn't tell her to do what anyone else would have said: go see a doctor.

No, instead Your Holiness prayed and Esther became pregnant and she gave birth a beautiful child.

Moreover, it became clear that Sister Antonia was actually an unworthy woman, an evildoer.

And you had the power to remove her from her position, you had the power to punish her, all you had to do was to sign a document, but instead, you chose not to do that.

Instead you chose to pray in the rain, kneeling on the asphalt at a rest stop on the highway, and at that moment Sister Antonia shuffled off the stage thanks to a divine punishment.

Now, these are the things that saints do.

They are moved by a faith so solid that they believe in God, in the power of God, before they believe in the power of human beings.

As you see, Holy Father, miracles are more likely to happen.

We only need to keep our ears open.

Are your ears always open for the Blessed Juana?

Always.

When she was fifteen she went to see the children at the hospital and always brought tangerines with her.

And she didn't care whether they ate them or not.

But she wanted them to peel them and to play at squeezing the peels, and spray each other with the bright and unforgettable scent of that fruit.

Then she told the children: I will go away from you and you will go away from me, but it doesn't matter, because all that we left on this earth is the scent of goodness.

I could listen for hours.

This story tells us something important.

What?

That goodness, unless it's combined with imagination, runs the risk of being mere exhibitionism.

How true! How true!

If you want to know everything about the Blessed Juana, there's a wonderful opportunity that we could take advantage of.

You see, every Christmas, the miracle children, who are now in their fifties, gather at a plaza in Guatemala City and tell the story of their miracle cures.

I've attended and it was a very moving and unforgettable experience.

I mean, everyone would be overjoyed to have you there.

Are you suggesting I spend my Christmas in Guatemala?

Yes. It would be a memorable gesture.

All right, then, we'll go to Guatemala.

On the understanding that it will be a small and private get-together, without crowds and without press.

Just us and the miracle children.

It will all be exactly as you wish.

All right, children, today we are going on tour of the Vatican Museums and I am gonna be your tour guide.

Earlier it was snowing. Now it's raining.

Too bad!

Snow is so much nicer than rain, isn't it?

Yes.

But if it's raining, that can only mean you've been bad children.

Why?

Why?

Because raindrops are the tears of Christ.

And if Jesus is crying, that can only mean you've made him angry.

What...

Hey, I was just kidding, have a sense of humor, for Pete's sake!

All right, children, here's what we'll do.

Right now we're all going to eat hamburgers and French fries and after lunch we'll continue our tour of the museums.

Follow me!

Aren't you going to eat hamburgers and French fries?

My mommy wants me to stick to the Mediterranean diet.

I understand.

I don't want a mommy with a beard.

You need to learn to settle for what you get.

I don't want to settle.

You're right.

I don't want to settle anymore, either.

How are you?

Who, me?

I'm always in a good mood.

I've always associated good mood with stupidity.

And not without reason, Your Holiness.

However you can't imagine the amount of energy that comes from good mood and stupidity.

What did you want to tell me?

I wanted to update you on a survey in the magazine "Catholic Universe" that I've been publishing for eight years.

What is it about?

We asked a question to a mixed group of people: if they'd like to attend a sermon of the Pope face to face.

How many?

99% of all Catholics.

And would this change things?

No, Your Holiness. It wouldn't change things.

A Pope doesn't change people.

Well, then you're confirming that there is no good reason for me to appear in public.

No, actually yes, there is a reason.

And what would that be?

If you appear in public, it would help these people to be in a good mood.

I'm not a comedian.

That doesn't matter.

It's the show of being there that helps people to be in a good mood.

That's not my duty.

Yes. Yes, it is.

Your Holiness...

You've changed a lot since you began your papacy.

Affliction changes us, Aguirre.

But good mood doesn't.

Accipe anulum de manu Petri et noveris dilectione Principis Apostolorum dilectionem tuam erga Ecclesiam roborari.

Amen.

What happened to your hands, our Eminence?

Oh, Holy Father...

The cold in Alaska, when I say Mass in the open air.

Haven't you tried using skin creams?

I'm allergic.

And then there is the rheumatism.

These look like the hands of Christ on the cross.

God blesses you, Holy Father.

I can't even hold a glass any more.

That man's name was Jack Walser, he was the superintendent of the building where we lived, before the Lord called me to Him.

He had divided the tenants into two categories, the natives and the nomads.

My family belonged to the category of the nomads, because we didn't have enough money to ensure the stability enjoyed by the natives.

One day, Jack rang our door bell at ten in the morning, confident that I would be at school.

But that day I was at home in bed with fever.

The door to my room was open and he stretched out on the little sofa where my father sat when he listened to the radio.

He drenched it with his wet clothes.

And he, he told me that the party was over for us nomads that, that landlords had decided to double the rent.

And he said it as if he had something good, something fragrant in his mouth.

And then he gestured for me to come closer... and he said to me, in a tone of voice I'd never heard in my life, he said:

"On your knees".

At last... he said the most vulgar phrase I've ever heard in my life. He said:

"There are only two reasons a human being would get down on his knees.

And one is to pray, and the other is to know himself."

I was only twelve years old, Holy Father.

I was twelve years old!

You need to continue, Archbishop.

Your story isn't finished yet.

What... What else do you want to know?

What happened afterward?

You want to know whether I, as an adult, became like Jack Walser.

Certainly, that's all you care about.

What do you care about that twelve-year-old boy on his knees in front of a man with wet clothes on a chilly day in February in 1955!

We care, Archbishop, about all children.

All of them.

Fine.

Let's get on with it.

Yes, Holy Father, for the rest of my life...

I've behaved like Jack Walser.

Can that be enough?

Come here, Archbishop.

I've made my decision.

I'm sending you back to the United States.

Where do you want to go?

To New York.

I want to go home.

Fine.

Holy Father, infinite is your compassion.

Infinite is your capacity for forgiveness.

I have one simple request.

Anything, Your Holiness.

I wanna make sure you really do wanna go home.

So I want you to plant your finger on New York on the globe.

Kechikan, Alaska.

I know the place.

Very nice.

A small town of 8,000 inhabitants that's so cold that it'll split your fingers.

But in the words of the Nobel laureate Brodsky:

"Beauty at low temperatures is beauty".

Archbishop Kurtwell, your disease has deceived you.

There's a rumor going around that I'm about to leave the Vatican.

You have to admit the rumors that circulate in the Vatican almost always correspond to the truth.

Where will I go?

Where you've always wanted to be.

With children.

You're an orphan.

Orphans want to stay with children forever.

How do you know I'm an orphan?

I've always known.

How do you know?

It's difficult, for a saint, to answer all the questions of humanity.

Can I start calling you Lenny again?

Only if I can call you Ma.

Yes, you can call me Ma.

Where will I go?

To Africa, to take Sister Antonia's place.

And there you will be in charge of the other 250 Villages of Goodness.

I'd like to open new ones just for the children.

What do you think?

I think it's a good idea.

In the end, we all have to go back to where we began.

And you, when will you go back to where you began?

Where did I begin?

You began with two hippie parents.

I've stopped searching for my parents.

I've stopped searching for God.

Never say that again.

The truth is you've never searched.

You've been hiding yourself.

When do you want me to leave?

Tomorrow morning.

Before you go, if you like, you can say goodbye to the Cardinal Secretary of State.

So long, saint.

So long, Ma.

Your Holiness, don't you feel well?

No, no. Just a passing discomfort.

Should I call the doctor?

No, no, it's nothing serious.

It's over.

Are you certain you don't want me to call the doctor?

All better now.

Do you believe in God?

I... yes, I do.

I don't.

Those who believe in God don't believe anything.

You already knew I had fallen in love with that woman, didn't you?

Of course you knew it.

I'm an open book to you.

And here we are again at the same age-old question: who ever said that a man can't love God and a woman at the same time?

That's bullshit.

There's one thing I've never understood about you: whether you're a Lazio fan like your father or whether you root for Napoli like I do.

You're unclear on this point.

What?

You want to know what became of Tonino Pettola?

Look, well... Tonino Pettola... what happened is that...

Jesus, what an unseemly thing!

I didn't want to, but the Pope...

Basically, Tonino Pe...

Oh God, I was about to tell you!

No, my friend. You'll have to forgive me. But I...

I can't tell anyone what became of Tonino Pettola.

Forgive me, but I can't even tell you, and you're my best friend.

There are certain secrets so important that only one person should know them.

Don't resent me for this. I love you like the son I never had.

But I can never reveal to you what became of Tonino Pettola.

Merry Christmas, Girolamo.

You know? You were right.

When an orphan matures, he may discover a fresh youth within.

And at that point, he will have something to say.

You have something to say, I know it, I feel it, and you will say it.

Your Holiness, you will say it... you'll say it.

You will say it.

You'll say it. You'll say it.

You'll say it, you'll say it, you will say it, you'll say it, you'll say it, you'll say it, you'll say it.

You have a very tight family, Eminence, very affectionate.

It has been a lovely Christmas Eve.

May I be indiscreet, Your Holiness, and say something that concerns you personally?

You may.

Your parents abandoned you when you were a child.

Nothing so strange about that, one might feel constrained to abandon a child for all sorts of reasons.

There is no evidence to suggest they are dead.

You become one of the most famous people on the planet, but they do not get in touch with you.

"Why?" I asked myself.

A guilty conscience, perhaps?

But the prospect of a reconciliation should be more powerful than any sense of guilt.

So what explanation did you come up with, then?

A very simple one.

They were hippies.

Presumably they hold the same libertarian and progressive opinions today as they had then.

And you become the worldwide champion of ideas that run completely counter to theirs.

So you're saying the reason they didn't reach out to me is a difference in political opinion?

I'm saying that whoever had the courage to abandon a child might also find the strength to repudiate him.

Holy Father, the plane is on the tarmac, waiting for us.

Whenever you like, it's all ready.

We aren't going to Guatemala after all.

The miracle people of the Blessed Juana will be so disappointed.

Yes, they will.

But in time they'll understand.

All I ever wanted when I was a child was to be a cardinal.

What about you, Holy Father, what did you want to be when you were a child?

I wanted to be a child.

And now where is God?

In Venice.

In Venice?

And where does he live there?

That's something I have to find out.

Sorry, sorry.

Please.

Excuse me, sir.

Please.

Thank you. Thank you. Excuse me.

Holy Father...

I got you something stupid, it has no real worth, but I saw it and I thought of you.

It says here you can see more than 100 metres.

Holy Father, the manager of the restaurant and all the staff wonder if you'd be willing to give a benediction.

They're all behind you waiting.

If you were to turn around, for them it would be something of a minor miracle.

No.

That would be an exhibition.

When they asked her: "Who is God?"

"God is a line that opens", replied the Blessed Juana, she was just fourteen years old, and no one understood what it was she was trying to say.

And then, all the children asked the dying Blessed Juana dozens of questions: are we dead or are we alive?

Are we tired or are we vigorous?

Are we healthy or are we sick?

Are we good or are we bad?

Do we still have time or has it run out?

Are we young or are we old?

Are we clean or are we dirty?

Are we fools or are we smart?

Are we true or are we false?

Are we rich or are we poor?

Are we kings or are we servants?

Are we good or are we beautiful?

Are we warm or are we cold?

Are we happy or are we blind?

Are we disappointed or are we joyful?

Are we lost or are we found?

Are we men or are we women?

"It doesn't matter", replied the Blessed Juana as she lay dying at the age of just eighteen.

And she added, on the verge of death, with tears in her eyes:

"God does not allow Himself to be seen.

God does not shout.

God does not whisper.

God does not write.

God does not hear.

God does not chat.

God does not comfort us."

And all the children asked her:

"Who is God?"

And Juana replied:

"God smiles".

And only then did everyone understand.

And now, I beg all of you, smile.

Smile.

Smile.

That's right, smile.

It's nothing, it's nothing!

One day I will die... and I will finally... be able to embrace you all.

One by one.

Yes.

I will.

I have faith that I will.

Call the doctor.