This was bound to happen eventually. The latest episode of HBO’s The New Pope now has the audacity to suggest “upgrading” the Bible and the Church to include gay marriage. Somehow, I don’t think the series that’s bashed the Church and called prostitution a “miracle” has any right to lecture Christians.
The February 10 “Fifth Episode” opens with Pope John Paul III (John Malkovich) having a meeting with actress Sharon Stone, of all people. She’s another vapid celebrity that the Pope happens to be a fan of, but I suppose it’s better than someone wearing literal Satanic symbols.
Still, like Marilyn Manson before her, Stone comes here to offer advice to the Pope about “upgrading” the Church to the modern age, more specifically by supporting gay marriage. The Pope dismisses this initially, but this moment is considered a “small step” in the right direction for a "brave, revolutionary" pope in the future. It’s almost as if they really do want to upgrade the Bible.
Sharon Stone: Gay marriage for Catholics...when will this pointless taboo be eliminated?
Pope John Paul III: When the Church has a brave, revolutionary, resolute pope -- qualities none of which I possess.
Sharon Stone: What a shame.
Pope John Paul III: Even though homosexuality is not a sin, sexual acts outside of marriage are. According to the Bible, sex is intended solely for procreation, therefore between a man and a woman.
Sharon Stone: But can't the Bible be upgraded?
Pope John Paul III: Alas, the Bible is not an iPhone.
Sharon Stone: Again, what a shame.
Pope John Paul III: Not at all. Anything that can be upgraded, like an iPhone, eventually ends up in the bin, only to be replaced by a more expensive model. The Bible has endured for a very long time, and its value has changed little, if at all.
Sharon Stone: Because it can't be upgraded?
Pope John Paul III: Exactly. I suppose it's not even a matter of upgrading. It's more a matter of somehow bridging the enormous gap between the sacred and the sinful. Quite a long ladder is needed -- the ladder of time. By broaching this subject, you and I have already lessened that gap -- a small step, granted, but a step nevertheless.
Sharon Stone: And this is supposed to make me feel better?
Pope John Paul III: Yes, of course.
Sadly, things are growing worse for the Church despite the Pope’s statements. On top of a cardinal having gay sex, a nun having sex with a refugee, and the Pope having sexual desires for his marketing assistant Sofia (Cécile de France), a terrorist group attacks in Lourdes. Make no mistake, all this happens in same episode. The Pope gives Sofia his private number despite her being married, Cardinal Gutiérrez (Javier Cámara) continues to meet with a lover, and Sister Caterina (Eco Andriolo Ranzi) becomes pregnant after her encounters with Faisal (Zaki Bibawi Ayyad). Basically, it's a wonder the Church is still standing at this point with these people who can't practice what they preach.
In his effort to find some sort of stability in the Church, the Pope decides to throw in his support for priests getting married, gay or straight. Although this is clearly an example of “upgrading” the Bible, he reasons that it’s better than the “aberrant” love of pedophilia, as if one can’t denounce both.
Pope John Paul III: During the interview, I am going to make an extraordinary overture. I intend to state that I am in favor of marriage for priests both gay and straight. We have to legitimize possible love so as to divert people from aberrant love, which is a form of violence. I am not so naive as to think that this is the solution, but as a way of limiting the damage, it could well work.
Sofia: Holy Father, you're proposing to upgrade the Bible as if it were an iPhone.
Pope John Paul III: You're an intelligent and tireless worker, Sofia. Could you not come up with a more suitable metaphor, please?
Sofia: I will. An announcement of this sort is a giant leap.
Pope John Paul III: A small step and hopefully less tears in the great ocean of human history.
The sad thing is that this is how actual liberals view the Bible in the real world. When people aren’t outright dismissing the Bible and the Church, they’re trying to convince Christians to change them. And then they have the nerve to call religious followers “hypocrites.” Fortunately, the Catholic Church has survived centuries of persecution by remaining true to its morals. Unfortunately, we still have a few more episodes to go of this trash.