(K. Brent Tomer),
THE title of Paolo Sorrentino’s Vatican drama “The Young Pope” has been met with confusion and derision. Many see it as a simplistic description of his age, others an allusion to his spiritual maturity. Both are integral to understanding this compelling character, and the show draws a clear thread between Pius XIII’s (Jude Law) difficult formative experiences and his religious beliefs. “The Young Pope” is an exercise in contextual theology: only by considering the pontiff’s life as a young boy can we begin to understand his current position.
Orphaned as a child, Pius has not accepted his past or forgiven the parents that deserted him. His fellow Cardinals regard his behaviour as that of a “vindictive little boy”. He lashes out at his contemporaries. He taunts his confessor by suggesting that he may or may not believe in God, and manipulates him into divulging people’s secret sins. He is irritable, intransigent and whimsical, scorning an entire breakfast in favour of a diet cherry Coke. When an elderly Sister kisses Pius’s…Continue reading