The Two Popes

The Two Popes

No doubt, Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins displayed their proficiencies in their respective roles in the recently released movie, The Two Popes. They played the roles of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict, respectively.

Though the movie is obviously fiction and maybe with some drops of truths, the arguments between the two main characters in the “Vatican” garden is quite unsettling. From that disturbing arguments, however, I picked up something of interest; the disconnected Church.

Jonathan, who acted as Cardinal Bergoglio and later Pope Francis, argued that the Church had lost touch with the world due to her rigidity. This may sound so very true but, logically open to further questions; who moved away and why?

The Catholic Church is undoubtedly a very traditional Church considered outdated by modern minds; the liberals and the conservatives constantly dragging the truth to anchor it in their extreme positions. The liberals in their modernistic style of thinking may want to strip the Church and bring her down to the level of the world she is expected to guide. At the same time, the conservatives, on the other hand, insist on their extremism on not letting the ancient truth be seen through the lens of modern times.

Both sides must come to terms with the fact that the truth must not be changed and that the unchangeable truth must be proclaimed to all ages. The liberals must not water down the truth, and the conservatives must not cover it with mysticism.

A second look at Cardinal Bergoglio’s argument in that movie may not only suggest but may reflect the truth about the reality of the disconnect between the world and the Church. The usage of the word “world” here may be a hasty generalization, failing to acknowledge the billions of faithful Catholics scattered all over the globe of which I am one. Anyways, the questions may be asked; who moved away and why?

The world obviously moved away from the Church, from the truth. And I do not see this movement as a form of protest but the product of ignorance and confusion that should challenge the church not to liberalize the truth but to look for a new way to present the same ancient truth to all cultures of the world.

I believe the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church to be the Church of Christ blest with an amazing heritage, with so much to teach the modern world. We are the Church; it is our collective responsibility to connect with the world to proclaim the truth.


Joel Okojie is an ordained Catholic Priest in the Order of St. Augustine. He has been a Priest for over a decade. He served as a pastor in two different parishes, he was a one-time Novice Master and a member of the Provincial Council of the province of St. Augustine of Nigeria, and he is currently on a mission in response to the needs of the Church in Canada.

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