Vatican’s reaction is not as bad as we thought it would be

We all expected a nasty reaction to a show that depicts the Pope and the Vatican City in a negative light.

Jude Law's portrayal of Pope Pius XII, combined with the sexual content, nudity, and profanity in "The Young Pope" earned criticisms from Catholics

After months of silence, the Vatican has finally reacted to a provocative TV series called "The Young Pope."

The Catholic media through Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has responded with a review of the HBO show that was surprisingly positive and it's not as bad as most people expected.

The newspaper is the go-to for daily information on the Holy See and the Vatican  (twitter/oss_romano)

The review was done in the October 1st edition of the Vatican newspaper where two pages were dedicated to the 10-episode series, which premiered on Sunday, January 15, 2016.

The review, written by Juan Manuel de Prada, explored the differences between the real Pope Pius XII, the Pope character played by Jude Law, and representation of the Vatican hierarchy on the show.

The Young Pope

Prada said that there was a “docile admiration for the church” in show’s anti-clerical rants.

He added that the show’s director Paolo Sorrentino does not penetrate the church’s mystery “but he manages to convey his own perplexity to the viewer, who will ask how it’s possible that an institution run by ambitious, lascivious braggarts could survive all these shipwrecks.”

The show was also called “frivolous,” ”caustic” and “grotesque” for the way it painted the Vatican.

Paolo Sorrentino is the director of The Young Pope  (thefuss)

A top L’Osservatore columnist, Lucetta Scaraffia, has also reacted to the show. According to her, it is “criticism of the existing church, but in some way hope that something good might come from it.”

Other Catholic media houses were vocal about their dislike for the show while the show was airing. The sexual content, nudity, and profanity, were some of the reasons why many critics attacked it.

This is why the silence from the Vatican newspaper, known for lashing out against “The Da Vinci Code,” and anything that could be seen as casting the Church in a negative light is very strange.

Gian Maria Vian, the editor-in-chief of the Vatican newspaper has an explanation for this.

He said, “They wanted us to either bless it or excommunicate it, and I didn’t want to play that game. But we intervened now because it’s an important television series, an important cultural phenomenon.”

However, the show’s depiction of the internal power struggles in the Vatican earned high praises.

In spite of the criticisms, Italy received it very well. Reportedly, the European country had the best viewings ever of a TV show debut on the Sky Network.

The HBO show opens up with Cardinal Lenny Belrado played by Jude Law, who has just become Pope Pius XII, the first American pope.

His first speech reveals that he doesn't care about the old ways. He says, “Tolerance doesn’t live here anymore. It’s been evicted. It vacated the house for the new tenant, who has diametrically opposite tastes in decorating.”

Jude Law's portrayal of Pope Pius XII in "The Young Pope" was heavily criticised  (CNS photo/HBO)

The show also features Diane Keaton who plays a nun named Sister Mary. Despite the criticisms, the show has been picked for the second season.

HBO is also working on follow-up show called “The New Pope.” It is will go into production in 2018.



Vatican’s reaction is not as bad as we thought it would be Vatican’s reaction is not as bad as we thought it would be Reviewed by Unknown on October 13, 2017 Rating: 5

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