The boys over at Creative Minority Report are featuring the trailer of a new movie about the Papacy - "We Have A Pope".
It's an Italian comedy in which the newly elected pope has a nervous breakdown as soon as he's elected. The cardinals, in desperation engage the services of a psychoanalyst to see if he can help the new pontiff to embrace his office.
I suppose there will be different responses to this, and as I have not seen the movie I cannot comment one way or the other. There are reviews which are positive, and others not so.
The basic storyline is very interesting though, and it might actually help us Catholics to appreciate the Pope more. In the movie Conclave you see the various cardinals praying not to be elected: "Please Lord, not me!" I'm sure in an actual conclave that actually happens as, I'm sure, the opposite too. While conclaves are secret, we have all heard stories of newly elected popes expressing fear as the burden of the office is placed in their shoulders: the "Salle di lacrime" , the Room of Tears, is aptly named apparently.
The call of the office of pope is one in which the holder is called to what can be for many, a living martyrdom. Cardinal Ratzinger, as was, just wanted to retire, and as when Blessed John Paul died he thought the time had come. It was not to be so; he had to put aside his own desires and step into the shoes of the fisherman.
To see, in this movie, a newly elected pope cowering in fear may not be edifying for the faithful, but it might just give us an insight into what happens in a man's heart when God plucks him out of the comfort of the college of cardinals, to bear the burden of the Church and her universal mission.
Of course, there is something else which doesn't seem to be present in the movie: the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. If the man embraces the will of God with humility and putting his trust in God, the Holy Spirit will give him the help he needs to serve as pontiff. The election is also a call to greater faith and as well as greater love.
I think we should say a prayer for the Holy Father:
Almighty and Everlasting God, have mercy on Your servant Benedict, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Your loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation, that with Your help he may ever desire that which is pleasing to You and accomplish it with all his strength. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord Jesus, shelter our Holy Father the Pope under the protection of Your Sacred Heart. Be his light, his strength and his consolation.
Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for him.
Here's the trailer, see what you think....