tv Pope Francis - The Sinner PBS July 8, 2016 1:30pm-2:31pm PDT
(preaching in latin) (epic music) ♪ (cheering) (male narrator) on the 13th of march, 2013, a relatively unknown argentinean jesuit was elected leader of the world's 1.2 billion roman catholics. ♪ his simple, down to earth style has roused affection from believers and nonbelievers alike, and given hope to a church that was rocked by scandal, corruption, and division. (male #1) francis has crystallized a new vision of the church. it's a vision that includes everybody. (female #1) he has managed to touch something which leaders of the church haven't managed to touch over the last 20, 30, 40 years. (narrator) the pope, who describes himself as a sinner, is, indeed, a man of contradictions. and he wasn't always as popular as he is today. (female #2) he was almost hated by some jesuits. (male #2) he provoked a tremendous division.
(speaking spanish) (female translator) he also has a dark past, and he will have to answer for that at the end of the world. (narrator) who is jorge mario bergoglio? how did the man who was loved and loathed by his fellow jesuits in argentina become pope? and can he revolutionize the roman catholic church? (male #3) francis bergoglio says, "the church is falling down. god is sending me to repair the church." (male #4) there has been just a growing confusion about what the church really teaches. (female #3) the big issue, the one that he's not really got a handle on yet, and that is the issue of women in the church. (male #5) his head is like game of thrones, in a good way. ♪
(speaking in foreign language) (cheering) (narrator) from the moment he stepped out on the balcony of st. peter's, pope francis set a very different tone for his papacy. in just two years, he has put catholicism back on the map as a faith that has something to offer a troubled world. he's tackling big issues head on, accountability at the vatican bank, reform of the roman curia, and is driving a new vision of a church for the poor and marginalized. ♪ but can the man with a reputation as a divisive hardliner hold the roman catholic church together and revolutionize it at the same time? ♪ jorge bergoglio grew up in this home, in the middle class flores district of buenos aires. born in 1936 to italian immigrants,
he was the eldest of five. he attributes his deep faith to his grandmother, rosa. (elisabetta) it was very, very important, the presence of the nonna rosa. a very strong woman, very catholic woman. all this family life, the mother, the father, this example of a family that would go all together to the church. (whimsical music) (narrator) it was in this confessional, at his local church in flores, that the 19-year-old jorge experienced a spiritual awakening that changed his life. ♪ (elisabetta) because he felt the call from god. he felt that god chose him. ♪ his mother, she would hope for, "my son, my first son to be a doctor." so, she was very disappointed. (narrator) father andres swinnen joined the jesuits at the same time as jorge, and they have remained friends ever since.
♪ (speaking spanish) (male translator) we entered before the second vatican council. everything was uniform in the church. we were very good friends with bergoglio, and we made mischief together. we had the same vision, of course. (narrator) a lifelong friend and mentor of bergoglio, who taught him at the seminary in villa devoto in buenos aires, is father juan carlos scannone. (speaking spanish) (male translator) bergoglio was my student, he was very good, but not among the very best. (narrator) as a young student, jorge fell ill, and almost died from pneumonia. (male translator) a very severe pneumonia. they had to operate on him and remove a piece of his lung. that's why, since then, he speaks quite softly.
(narrator) in the 1960s, pope john xxiii introduced changes to modernize a church that was out of touch with the world. but the implications of these reforms in far-flung places like argentina was difficult to grasp. (guitar music) (speaking spanish) (male translator) suddenly, it was as if the council had opened windows, and air came in. for many, that was disorientating. (narrator) it was a time of the cold war. marxism was causing political instability in poverty-stricken latin america, and was also influencing the church. (speaking spanish) jesuit identity was changing, with some priests moving into small experimental communities among the poor. there was a new approach to training the young students, which addressed the problems of poverty and social injustice, as well as spiritual matters. (father michael) there was a third world movement of priests going on.
and these were very badly looked upon by the military. an ex-jesuit that had been working with me became a guerrilla and was killed. (narrator) the catholic hierarchy supported regimes in latin america that opposed communism. in argentina, the state was particularly nervous of priests meddling in politics. ♪ in 1973, at the age of just 36, jorge bergoglio was elected provincial of an order that was in disarray. he quickly set about de-politicizing the jesuits, refocusing them on a more spiritual path. ♪ (paul) he was very conservative and traditionalist. got rid of all the progressive theology. he banned books on liberation theology from the library. he reinstituted a lot of old liturgical practices. ♪ (narrator) bergoglio began to roll back on reforms he believed were politically driven,
rather than based on the gospel. against opposition from more liberal jesuits, he started closing small communities, and insisted on a more traditional formation for the students. many jesuits supported his reforms. ♪ (speaking spanish) (male translator) he began to put the problems in order. he did a good job. of course, he was a very young provincial. that was part of the difficulty he had. he handled himself with a lot of authority. sometimes that was problematic. ♪ (father michael) it's very rare that a man should be named provincial when he's in his thirties. he suddenly had to take care of the whole province. he was very much a leader, always, among the jesuits. (elisabetta) when he became provincial, there were almost no vocations,
and after six years, there were, so you could also say that he saved the order. (narrator) amid political chaos, a military junta took power in argentina in 1976, with full support from the catholic hierarchy. the new regime immediately began to suppress and arrest subversive elements. (dramatic music) (father michael) it was an absolute mess. we were all very pro-military at first. i remember very clearly that we were thrilled that the military should have taken over. but then the disappearing started, and that was terrible. (narrator) the catholic hierarchy in argentina was more conservative than in other latin american countries. it was accused of collaborating with the military junta, led by jorge rafael videla and emilio massera. ♪ (speaking spanish)
(male translator) in argentina, the military and the catholic church were inextricably linked. and like the great majority of the leaders in the catholic church, he believed that the dictatorship would bring order to the country in the face of so many subversives. (speaking spanish) (male translator) the bishops and bergoglio also believed that priests who lived among the people, in the slums, dissolved the jesuit identity, broke with authority, and gave a bad example to the rest of argentinean society. ♪ (male translator) when the military took over in 1976, everything related to liberation theology was seen as communist, and marxist. i was labeled marxist, which i never was. ♪ (narrator) for bergoglio, the priests' work with the poor had to be rooted in the gospel, not in any political ideology. ♪ (speaking spanish)
(male translator) he was a very strict person, with ideas about pastoral work at that time that i would consider today to be quite conservative. pastoral work with the people that didn't address the root causes of their social problems. (male #7) there were many priests in the whole of latin america who believed that it was legitimate to be a terrorist. and the possibilities open to him seemed to be either you renounce political action largely, or going, if you want, with the hardliners who were into militant opposition. and i think he thought that the second option was very dangerous, and he tended, therefore, to go to a much more spiritual understanding of solidarity with the poor. (guitar music) (narrator) two of the more radical jesuits, orlando yorio and francisco jalics, who were in conflict with bergoglio over his hardline reforms, continued to live in the slums in buenos aires.
♪ (speaking in spanish) (male translator) the problem was they were under threat. bergoglio knew from the source that they were to be kidnapped. (michael) he told them to leave that community, and they said no. and so, what bergoglio said to them is, "you have two alternatives. i either have to kick you out of the society, or you can ask to leave." ♪ (speaking spanish) (narrator) yorio's sister, graciela, believes that bergoglio is responsible for what happened to her brother. (speaking spanish) (female translator) at a certain time, he pressured them to leave the slums. he put them in a situation where they were completely unprotected.
he took away their licenses to say mass. he threw them out of the jesuits and left them without the protection of other bishops. ♪ (narrator) in may, 1976, the two jesuits were kidnapped by the military, taken to this detention center, and interrogated and tortured for five months. ♪ (male translator) when they disappeared, bergoglio was informing me on an ongoing basis about everything he was doing, initially, to find out who had detained them. ♪ (father michael) i imagine, a man in his position must have had a terribly difficult time to save his people, and at the same time not make too many ripples with the government that would only make things worse. (narrator) then, a month after the kidnapping, five palatines from the irish parish of saint patrick's in buenos aires were murdered and denounced as communists. bergoglio had been spiritual director to one of the priests.
(speaking spanish) (translator) i felt like someone in a warzone with people falling all around me. (dramatic music) ♪ it was a time of panic. anything could happen. some of my students died. ♪ (narrator) believing his work was becoming too dangerous, bergoglio sent a reluctant father petty out of harm's way, to córdoba. (father michael) years afterwards, i realized that the real reason that he had was to save my life. he knew the inside story on lots of things. at the same time, he was trying to protect the jesuits. ♪ (narrator) bergoglio had meetings with the dictators videla and massera to persuade them to release his two priests who had been kidnapped. (father michael) he went to massera, he didn't even call him "your excellency" or anything like that, he said, "now, massera, if you don't let those two out, the bishop's conference
is going to speak out strongly against you." massera let them out. (speaking in spanish) (male translator) when they released them, they both immediately declared that they felt abandoned by their superior, who was bergoglio. they wrote a letter to the superior of the jesuits to say they were convinced that their superior not only left them unprotected, but gave the armed forces information so that they would be detained and disappeared. (female translator) and this is the letter that orlando wrote to father mouro in rome. when you finish reading this letter, you're left with a very strong impression that bergoglio turned them in. ♪
(male translator) i don't think bergoglio put them in danger. at that time, everyone was in danger. ♪ father yorio took me to the place where he was tortured, and he told me that the questions they asked me were things that only my superior knew about. ♪ (speaking spanish) i believe that's not true. certainly, the military had the phones tapped. ♪ they certainly did suffer, but i don't think that bergoglio had anything to do with that. not at all. above all because during that time, he was regularly telling me what he was trying to do for yorio. (melancholic music) (paul) yorio and jalics said different things as the years went by. yorio was very fixed on his dislike of bergoglio, and when bergoglio was made a bishop, yorio left the country.
he said, "i can't be in a country where this man's a bishop." and he went to uruguay. he was never reconciled and he died in uruguay. but the other one, jalics, who's now living in a retreat house in germany, he met bergoglio when he was archbishop, and an eyewitness told me that the two men fell upon each other and wept bitterly, and they then said mass together. ♪ (narrator) for years, francisco jalics maintained that bergoglio had denounced him to the military. however, a few days after pope francis's election, he issued statements retracting that and said that they are now reconciled. ♪ (speaking spanish) (female translator) that the reconciliation happened indicates that there was something that had to be reconciled. we are absolutely convinced and absolutely certain that francisco was pressurized. ♪ it's very difficult to see his rising popularity.
♪ but he also has a dark past and he will have to answer for that at the end of the world. (male #8) bergoglio's main mission was to protect his jesuits. in other countries in latin america, many jesuits were being killed. was he in a position to do more than he did? that's the question. he was not a bishop, so he didn't have the power of a bishop. the evidence tells that the ones who did more were killed. not everybody is called to be a martyr. ♪ (paul) the opponents of bergoglio said, "he betrayed them." my examination of the evidence is that he didn't actually betray them, but that he was arrogant and stubborn and reckless in the way that he locked horns with them. his pastoral relationship as their overseer broke down. that failure on his part has haunted him ever since. (energetic music)
(narrator) bergoglio's reputation among the more liberal jesuits went into further decline when the old jesuit salvador university, which he had handed over to a right-wing lay group, granted an honorary degree, in 1977, to the dictator, massera. ♪ (father michael) we were very angry about it, because we knew who massera was, of course. ♪ (male translator) the principle oppressor in argentina, admiral massera, the person who was responsible for kidnapping jalics and yorio. (narrator) in 1979, bergoglio was made rector of the jesuit seminary, giving him direct control over the students. this further angered the liberal priests, who were deeply concerned about his influence over the younger jesuits. father rafael velasco was a student at the time. (speaking spanish) (male translator) his vision was marked by a very orthodox theology. definitely european, very critical of liberation theology.
♪ he had a way of thinking that was very critical of voices within the jesuits that had a different way of seeing things. he was greatly admired among the jesuit students. in some cases there was a cult of personality around him. some even referred to him as "el", like god. (father michael) he was too much of a controversial figure for the young jesuits. i mean, some were absolutely pro-him. he couldn't do anything wrong. (narrator) in 1986, bergoglio's term as rector expired, and the new leadership introduced liberal reforms in the training of the students, against the wishes of bergoglio. this intensified divisions within the jesuits. (dramatic music) (speaking spanish) (male translator) bergoglio wanted to continue to mold the consciences
of the younger jesuits. he wanted to continue to lead them. there's something very unhealthy about this... this thirst for leadership that he has. (elisabetta) he was almost hated by some jesuits. that he was the ultra-conservative, that he gave these two jesuits, yorio and jalics, to the militaries. that they didn't like, and this fact also of la universidad de salvador. (paul) he couldn't forget his old authority. he was so meddlesome that, eventually, they appealed for him to be expelled from the house. (narrator) the argentine province became paralyzed by a dispute between two visions of how the jesuits should be. one of these visions was embodied in the person of bergoglio. to resolve the situation, the new provincial sent bergoglio far away to córdoba. ♪ (speaking spanish)
(male translator) there can't be many superiors of the jesuits who, when they finished their term of office, are sent straight away to an obscure parish, lost in the middle of argentina. ♪ (paul) córdoba was a place of exile, for him. a place of humility and of humiliation. he felt belittled and sidelined. ♪ (father michael) i always think that this is the great lesson he takes to the papacy. he can't bash into those who think differently from him. (narrator) with bergoglio gone, some students began to re-evaluate all they had learned from their old master. (speaking spanish) (male translator) there were those who remained loyal to bergoglio, and those of us who began to take a critical view of many of the things that had bothered us at the time. i value many things about bergoglio,
he taught me how to get close to god, and to relate to the people. there were other things i then had to unlearn. (narrator) as a jesuit, bergoglio had been trained to use the spiritual exercises of saint ignatius to analyze and examine his life, and to help him make better decisions. (chanting) (male #9) i think he went through a bit of a tough time, a bit of a crisis. and he looked back upon what sort of a provincial he'd been. a very young provincial, and he saw that he had been too authoritarian. and i think it was this crisis that made him, actually. he began to realize that he had to have a different approach to authority. i used to try to see him. i'd go into the dining room and he'd go out the other door. we thought he was mad. i remember thinking clearly that, because he wouldn't speak to anybody.
(father michael) they must have done a lot of discerning there. it's not easy to change that sort of style, but he changed, and he changed when he was in córdoba. (speaking spanish) (male translator) to see his face in córdoba i said to myself, "he's going through a dark night." so it was a difficult time in his life. a time of purification. (cheerful music) (narrator) after two years in the obscurity of córdoba, a lifeline was thrown to bergoglio by the archbishop of buenos aires, cardinal quarracino, a man he had impressed when he was provincial. (elisabetta) he was called to be auxiliary bishop of buenos aires by quarracino, and his life totally changed. (narrator) in 1992, a new chapter was about to begin in bergoglio's life, as a bishop in the largest diocese in argentina.
but not everyone believed he had the capacity to change. (male translator) i suppose there were some high up in the jesuits who would've said, "thank god, now he's the church's problem." ♪ (epic music) ♪ (speaking italian) (narrator) in just two years, the pope from the ends of the earth has gone beyond the wildest dreams of those who elected him. he's turning the church and its message upside down by igniting a new vision, focused on the poor and excluded. but is his leadership also in danger of splitting the church? ♪ can pope francis succeed today where he failed as provincial of the jesuits? can he hold the church together and reform it at the same time? ♪ in 1992, by becoming bishop of buenos aires,
many jesuits felt he had betrayed their tradition of not accepting high office in the church. (father michael) i find it difficult because that's not what jesuits should do. and so, lots of people were very cross about it. ♪ (speaking spanish) (male translator) that there was something not only spiritual about this, but it was more like a project for personal power. when he could no longer get this power inside the jesuits, he looked for it outside. ♪ (father michael) he must've had that interior battle to realize what it meant to become a bishop in buenos aires. it meant that he could become pope. ♪ now, he knew that he was capable of doing it, and he did it very well. his leadership style changed completely as he became bishop.
(paul) he had been, as jesuit leader, divisive, authoritarian, arrogant, and when he left córdoba, he was gentle, consultative, listening, participative, collegial. (guitar music) (narrator) bergoglio chose not to live in the bishop's palace, but in a simple apartment beside the cathedral. though he lived in the center of buenos aires, he made a conscious decision to side with those living in the slums, and on the margins. ♪ (speaking spanish) (male translator) he did things that were striking that bishops normally didn't do, with all that he gave to the slums, to the poor, and the support he gave to the priests in the slums. ♪
(singing in spanish) (speaking spanish) (male translator) the pope is like one of us. he came here to have lunch with us. big bishops from other places wouldn't set foot here. this man did; this man is humble. (chatter) (speaking spanish) (male translator) when bergoglio became archbishop of buenos aires, right away he gave signals that there was a change. above all, in the way the archbishop acted. he traveled by bus and by subway. ♪ (speaking spanish) (augusto) when bergoglio was visiting the parishes, he was really listening.
people started to feel that they were empowered, that they were important for the church. (narrator) for bergoglio, the popular devotions of the people put him in touch with their religious and cultural roots, and were a treasure to be valued and encouraged. (paul) he would send his priests into the slums to work with the poor and he would say to them, "remember, you're not going to teach them. they are gonna teach you." intellectuals are very sniffy about the poor, and said, "oh, it's all kind of peasant superstition." he could see that the simple faith of ordinary people was a way that they connected with god. (narrator) archbishop bergoglio became a constant thorn in the side of the government, preaching a gospel favoring the poor, against corruption, and increasing poverty in the country.
(peter) he came to see that liberation theology had a serious point which some people said was marxist, but which he sees is completely in line with catholic social teaching. (timothy) most liberation theologians have come to agree, the promotion of class warfare was a great mistake. but he did see that you had to take political action. (paul) he began to work with unions, and cooperatives, and self help groups in the slums.
exactly the kind of thing he'd outlawed his own jesuits from doing two decades earlier. he also began to understand the political insights of liberation theology. so that when in 2001, there was a massive crisis in argentina, over half the population were below the poverty line. and bergoglio then began to talk about how the economic structures had become corrupted, and had become structures of sin. (narrator) bergoglio learned from celam, the long tradition of the conference of latin american bishops, who, since the early 1960s, developed a radical vision for the church in south america that was focused primarily on the poor and their needs. ♪ (peter) the south american church gave to the universal church these ideas that poverty kills. it talks about social sin. ♪
(augusto) it's the only conference of bishops that has issued a document almost every single decade about how to connect social issues, sociopolitical, economical issues, with the gospel. ♪ (narrator) in 2001, bergoglio was rewarded for his robust orthodoxy and solidarity with the poor by being elevated to cardinal by pope john paul ii. ♪ in 2005, the pope died. despite a smear campaign against bergoglio alleging his complicity with war crimes in argentina, he was a serious candidate in the conclave that elected cardinal ratzinger as pope. ♪ shortly after his return home, bergoglio was elected president of the bishop's conference in argentina. but not all the bishops agreed with his leadership style. ♪ there were sectors, of course, conservative sectors that wouldn't like that he wouldn't speak out against the gay marriage. he was considered the one that was too progressive.
(augusto) we had a group of bishops that were arch-conservatives, and another group of bishops that were arch-liberals. and he had to hold them together. he managed to convince the other bishops, "we don't need to agree on everything. disagreement is part of the kingdom of god." (epic music) ♪ (narrator) as archbishop and president of the bishop's conference, bergoglio experienced how the heavy hand of the roman curia sometimes weakens the authority of local bishops on the ground. (male translator) bergoglio lived in this climate. bergoglio suffered the hostility of rome constantly. he was conscious that he had an authority above him, who was the pope. and many of the things that we discussed in buenos aires couldn't be changed because there was someone else above him. (timothy) i think he was frustrated by the interference of the curia. he felt the role of bishops was not really being fully respected.
his great vision of vatican ii, of collegial responsibility, was being, he felt, undermined by the vatican. (narrator) it is estimated that up to 30,000 people were killed or disappeared during argentina's dirty war. some 500 babies born in detention centers were illegally adopted. for years, the mothers and grandmothers of the disappeared marched outside government buildings, looking for justice for crimes against their loved ones. but they never found support from archbishop bergoglio. (speaking spanish) (male translator) he never met the grandmothers, he never met the mothers of the disappeared. he never met with human rights organizations, because he considered that that was a marxist, progressive, disruptive part of argentinean society. (paul) when he was archbishop of buenos aires, he had to keep together a very divided society, a society where people have been murdered and were murderers.
this is in my view, he took the judgment that it was better if the past was not disturbed, say as little as possible. (narrator) as part of argentina's transition to democracy, the government set up a tribunal to investigate crimes committed during the dirty war. in 2010, cardinal bergoglio gave evidence, and was later accused by a questioning lawyer of being reticent and hesitant. (paul) he felt he had to protect the whole of the church. (paul) he didn't want the dirty linen to be washed in public. exhuming the past would be counterproductive, but when you look at him on the tv footage saying those things, he looks like part of the problem, not part of the solution. (augusto) remember that the government was not very friendly with bergoglio. so they did all what they could to discredit him,
and they couldn't find any single evidence. (narrator) at the end of 2014, pope francis met the president of the mothers of the disappeared, who said he has promised to open vatican archives on the subject of the disappeared. (dramatic music) back in rome, rumors of gay lobbies in the curia, trouble at the vatican bank, and leaked papal documents proved too much for an ailing pope benedict. ♪ his shock resignation in 2013 was a wake-up call to the cardinals that the church needed a firm hand at the helm. ♪ when the cardinals met before the conclave to discuss the problems facing the church, the 76-year-old bergoglio impressed them once again. ♪ (paul) bergoglio stood up and he made a speech, and it was the first speech which looked to the church as an institution of mission. the church has to remember that it's reflecting christ,
it has no light of its own. and when he made that speech, one cardinal turned to his neighbor and said, "this is the man. that's what we want." ♪ (male #10) the very first thing that he did when he got out onto the balcony of st. peter's was bow to the people and say, "please, pray for me. please bless me before i give you my blessing" that in itself was just telling you, here's something very, very different. (speaking spanish) (male translator) when came out on the balcony as pope, one of the things that came to my mind was, "he got what he wanted." ♪ (narrator) pope francis very quickly set out his stall. he's about the gospel, not the church. he's about compassion, not doctrine. ♪ (eimear) he has managed to touch something which leaders of the church haven't managed to touch
over the last 20, 30, 40 years. he has dispensed with a lot of certain traditions that he thought were excessive. the fact that he will not take these huge limousines when he travels, he wears his own black shoes, the fact that he carries his own briefcase. (narrator) francis' decision to settle his hotel bill and not live in the apostolic palace were early signals of how he wanted to govern the church and be perceived as pope. he wants to be in control of what he does and whom he meets. (male #11) he tells me that the pope's apartment is a very big place with a very small door. in santa marta, i have a small place, but the door is open. (wilfrid) when you see the pope getting up and getting his own breakfast, that says something to you. this mystique about the pope being up there and a holy man, he's just one of us. (elisabetta) he's not an emperor, he's a normal pastor,
and he's changing everything. (female #4) he is very much a person who says, "look, i'm not doing anything else except preaching the gospel." that's all he's literally doing. but he's not doing it with words, he's doing it with actions. (narrator) he shocked vatican purists when he washed the feet of a muslim female prisoner on holy thursday. his off-the-cuff comments can swing both ways. an in-flight remark about gay people set a whole new tone to the papacy. (timothy) when he said, "who am i to judge a gay person?" so many young gay christians were able to breathe and feel themselves understood. (peter) he's making these big audacious gestures which a lot of people in rome are very uncomfortable about. ♪ there's really just a growing confusion about what the church really teaches. you can't have this dichotomy between doctrine,
and the discipline by which we're disposed to follow him. (narrator) in just two years, pope francis has become a moral voice for a troubled world. he has personally intervened to reestablish relations between cuba and the united states. and he had the leaders of palestine and israel come to the vatican to pray together for peace in the middle east. ♪ in november 2013, pope francis published his first document, the joy of the gospel. it's his manifesto, and encapsulates a new departure. (news reporter) at the carriage house reception center, pope francis shared a meal with a number of poor people from the town. (narrator) he wants the church out of the sacristy, and into the real world. he wants the focus to be on the poor, with pastors who encourage, not condemn. (augusto) no to an ideology of many, no to increasing inequality,
no to a globalization of indifference. it's not marxism, it's the gospel. (narrator) the papacy is now driven by a vision, not from the vatican, but from the ends of the earth. ♪ (peter) the church must stop just looking at itself, and it must go to, what he calls, the periphery. the poor. the people that are left out. to abandon the center of power. the center of privilege. ♪ (mary) he has changed tone, and he has created space for voices to speak. ♪ people are going to push the envelope on ideas, for they may very well challenge elements of the magisterium. ♪ (speaking spanish) (male translator) certainly, i've seen huge change in his pastoral outlook. in his speeches denouncing injustices, and those who oppress the poor.
this was something new, and i was pleasantly surprised by it. because that's not the bergoglio i knew. (singing hallelujah) (peter) it's a new moment that we're living in. there is continuity with the past, but a break with the immediate past. (news reporter) on his election, the new pope called his predecessor. today, they met for the first time, as past and present popes. (paul) one cardinal said to me, "he's on the same team as benedict. he just kicks the ball in a different direction." (timothy) pope benedict and pope francis are, by formation and temperament, very different people. benedict is an academic, he's a thinker, whereas pope francis is somebody who learns on the streets. central to his theology is an engagement with people. he's brought back, strongly, the phrase "the people of god." hasn't appeared much in the last 20 years. ♪
(mary) he has loosened the awful intellectual clump that was imposed for years under john paul and benedict. people were afraid of being silenced. and i think what francis has done is given us back the church of vatican ii, a big noisy church, where people are going to fall in and out with one another. (timothy) i think what pope francis wants to do is to have a church which is less controlling because he believes that the holy spirit must blow where it will. (narrator) pope francis has begun a process to create new, more transparent, and efficient structures in the roman curia. but he also wants to radically change the mindset in the vatican. (male translator) what he thinks and always thought is that the roman curia should be at the service of those of us in the trenches because they're in an office and you can't see reality from an office.
(male reporter) the new pope's pioneering council of nine cardinals began implementing change. (paul) he has set up a council of nine cardinals from all around the world, and they are all known as maverick critics of the vatican. this council is the most important development in church governance for ten centuries. ♪ (mary) reforming the curia is a meaningless exercise, unless you reform church governance. that means that there has to be a decision-making body working with the pope. it's supposed to be about decision making, not advising, not collaborating with, not being asked your opinion, but being directly involved in governance. (singing in foreign language) ♪ (narrator) does pope francis have such a decision-making body in mind? it's clear that he wants a very different kind of power sharing between himself and the world's bishops.
up to now, it has been the pope and the curia who have governed the whole church from rome. ♪ (augusto) he's telling the bishops, "i'm ruling the church with you. don't expect me to do everything for your church." (peter) he's saying, "the church needs to be much more open, we need to have left wing cardinals and right wing cardinals." he wants all of the church to take part in decision-making. (raymond) that isn't the way church doctrine is formulated, and that's not the way church discipline is formulated. the church is not a democracy. the church is not about revolutions. ♪ (narrator) the first leg of the recent synod on the family showed signs of a new approach by pope francis, with consultations from catholics at the grassroots, and open debate on issues for bishops, up to now, feared to speak their minds. (male reporter) but the pope's conciliatory comments on gays, and also on atheism, have alienated conservatives.
♪ (raymond) this talk about finding good elements in homosexual acts, that simply is a contradiction for us. yes, of course, there are good qualities in the individuals, but the acts themselves are disordered. (male reporter) while some liberals would like him to spell out where he stands on issues such as contraception, married clergy, and the role of women. (oswald) there is opposition for every change. so, i mean, i do expect that if he makes any change, there will be opposition. (wilfrid) some were very upset and disturbed that the cardinals were arguing in public. most of us are saying, "well, isn't that what a debate is about?" you try winning people with your arguments. (male reporter) and one vatican watcher is pleased that the pope urged the synod to debate controversial issues. some cardinals wanted to limit the debate. they want some issues off the table. "we don't want to talk about welcoming gays and lesbians. we don't want to talk about giving communion to the divorced and remarried catholics."
(paul) the pope is not particularly interested in conveying doctrine. he's interested in conveying the message of the gospel, and the prime message is being loved, and inclusion. that is not part of the traditionalist's vision, from which they've got from previous popes. (mary) if he really wants to deal with a church that was being run into the ground, essentially, by his predecessors, he does have to move smartly. the pope is perfectly entitled to create a fully collegial decision-making body along with him. that would be truly radical. (epic music) (narrator) pope francis spoke about the need to develop a new theology of woman. many are waiting to see what he's going to do to include women in meaningful roles in ministry and governance in the church. (timothy) the biggest challenge that the pope faces is how he is to give voice and authority to women.
(mary) there is a blind side here that leaves so many really good, gentlemanly, decent men like francis still carrying a residual element of misogyny that closes them off to the dangers of not dealing with this issue. i don't think that he gets it, or that anybody around him fully understands. why would they, you know? they're all clerical male celibates who are just used to women kissing their hands, handing them their meals, polishing their tables. (timothy) i would personally hope that women would be very soon ordained deacons so that they could preach and have a public voice. but i think that pope francis is looking for something more radical than that. (narrator) and some are watching closely to see what structures he will put in place to empower laypeople
in the day to day life of the church and the vatican. (mary) that was the church that we were promised in vatican ii, the church of the people of god, the open church where the voice of the laity and the spirituality of the laity was on the same level as that of priests and bishops, the old hierarchical church was to be flattened. (timothy) and he wants the bishops to give responsibility to the people, and i think that's a very important part of pope francis's spirituality. daring not to be in control. (cheering) (narrator) ironically, while pope francis has been looking to the peripheries and decentralizing the church, things seem, if anything, to becoming more centered on him. (paul) the paradox about francis is that he wants to decentralize the church, and yet he's an incredibly centralizing person himself. (wilfrid) if you're gonna make change and it's going to stick, you gotta put structures into place that are gonna make
those changes carry through, regardless of who's in the seat. (narrator) but can pope francis succeed, when his predecessor failed to handle the internal power struggles within the roman curia? (michael) he can deal with the politics of the vatican with his little finger. (male translator) i think he's very ignatian, and it helps him not only in his interior life, but also in his way of governing. ♪ (narrator) perhaps, what the story of jorge mario bergoglio tells us is that he is the man who can revolutionize the church at this time. ♪ (augusto) for him, power is service. if you have power, you have the capacity to serve and to improve people's lives. this is at the very root of the gospel. (mary) he doesn't strike me as a man with a plan, because he's the kind of man who trusts in god. (paul) he's a man of great simplicity, but that hides a story of great complexity.
♪ the great theme of the story is that he's a man who has overcome his weaknesses. (narrator) pope francis knows what it's like to rule by diktat, and alienate people. ♪ he had the humility to change from a divisive authoritarian leader into a smiling collaborative pope who wants to connect with everyone, particularly the outcasts. ♪ (male translator) i can only judge pope francis on the actions he takes as pope, and i like what i see. ♪ (narrator) he has vision, ambition, and political savvy, but has learned to acknowledge his failures and put god first. in the process, it is the sinner who is saving the church. ♪ (timothy) one of his greatnesses, i think, is he has the capacity to realize he was wrong. (peter) on reflection and on life's experience and growth, we change. mandela changed.
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