Atheist Pope Battles Power-Hungry Cardinals in HBO's ‘The Young Pope’

The seventh episode of HBO’s The Young Pope, which aired February 5, depicts the Pope (Jude Law) going through a crisis of faith, while his fellow Cardinals celebrate over his possible resignation.

The Pope's confessor, who has been revealing all the Cardinals’ confessions to the Pope, confides in Sister Mary (Diane Keaton), “The Pope doesn’t believe in God.” Later, while the Pope tries to extract more confessions from the priest, the priest refuses, asserting, “You don’t believe in God, Holy Father. You don’t believe in God.” The Pope has no response.

When the Pope tells Sister Mary he wishes to resign, he states, “God has been evicted,” referring to himself as God. Apparently not believing in God isn’t enough for Sister Mary, who tells him, “You are a saint. A beautiful saint. You are the sweet Christ come back to Earth.”

In the mean time, Cardinal Voiello and the other Cardinals continue to showcase their hunger for power, plotting ways to bring down the Pope. After discussing one potential option, a Cardinal declares that he wants to be the next Pope, to which Cardinal Voiello responds (neglecting any mention of God/the Holy Spirit’s hand in choosing the new Pope), “I’ll pull strings in the conclave like always, and you’ll be the new Pope.” The Cardinal replies, “And you’ll be an all powerful Cardinal Secretary of State again.”

Depicting the papacy as one big popularity contest in pursuit of power, after the Pope has revealed his intention to resign to one Cardinal, two other Cardinals kneel down and kiss the ring of their potential new pope. A later scene shows that Cardinal imagining himself as the new Pope, speaking into a mirror as if to a cheering crowd.

In the previous episode, Cardinal Dussolier was shown in a graphic threesome with a man and a woman. After deciding he doesn’t want to live in the Vatican anymore, Cardinal Dussolier returns to his home in Honduras to meet the woman, who immediately tells him, “He knows.” As if having a threesome with an adulterous woman wasn’t dramatic enough, Cardinal Dussolier is murdered by the woman’s drug-dealer husband.

Apparently, simply bashing the Catholic Church isn’t interesting enough, so HBO has to throw in a sex-scandal-turned-murder-scandal twist. 

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

MRC Culture on TV Blogs Culture/Society Religion Anti-Religious Bias Christianity Sexuality Catholic Church HBO