Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

The people who should really see this film are fallen away Catholics.

Pope FrancisPope Francis: A Man of His Word joins RBG as documentaries that have profound meaning in this confusing world. As Pope Francis struggles to initiate reforms in the Roman Catholic Church, he battles a religious hierarchy that resists change on nearly any level.

Having grown up as a Catholic in a small Indiana town, I have watched the Catholic Church gradually decay from within. To begin with, many Catholic Cardinals and Bishops covered up the widespread sexual abuse by a regrettable number of priests, simply transferring them to different parishes to avoid their detection. You simply need to see the Oscar winning Spotlight (2015) play this scandal out on the big screen.

And even though Pope Francis has sought to address this catastrophic horror story, even he stumbled with his recent visit to South America and his unfortunate decision to give cover in the Vatican to Cardinal Bernard Law who had to flee Boston after his moral lapses were publicly exposed. Fortunately, the Pope has apologized for his public misstatements concerning the abuse taking place in Chile and you strongly get the feeling that he wants to hold guilty members of his Church accountable.

It is also worth noting that the Church suffers in preventing women from becoming priests and forbidding various Catholic sacraments from being given to those who have the audacity to obtain a divorce. Neither of these unfortunate practices has any moral standing, and it’s time that the aging Cardinals of Rome recognize that God’s will encourages change.

With this documentary you see the Pope repeatedly interviewed by Director Wem Wenders as he addresses various issues confronting Rome. I hope Catholics who support President Trump pay close attention to the Pope’s embracing climate change as a man made problem while forcibly arguing that immigrants have a meaningful place in today’s world.

This film follows Pope Francis as he visits imprisoned inmates in Philadelphia and migrants shamelessly detained and treated on Lesbos, an Island off Greece. In both cases he had the temerity to wash and kiss the feet of individuals rudely dismissed as worthless by powerful political figures.

Though the film loses a bit of its force when Director Wenders attempted to recreate a portion of the life of St. Francis, it is a minor distraction. More importantly, you see Pope Francis embracing poverty as a virtue.

Equally important, Pope Francis unapologetically dismisses mankind’s dedication to accumulating wealth as a problem that needs to be addressed. Less than 20% of the world’s population possesses over 80% of its wealth, and this has led to a large number of people starving in a world where the production of food is so mammoth that no child should go to bed hungry.

Regardless of your religious preference, you need to pay attention to this interesting Pontiff. The first Jesuit and American to be elevated to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, you get the feeling that if there is a God, he or she is whispering in to this noble human being’s ear.