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‘THE TWO POPES’— A LOVELY WAY TO WELCOME 2020

ANGEL THOUGHTS

By Deedee M. Siytangco

popes

Photo by Netflix

Happy, prosperous, and peaceful 2020 and happy Three Kings feast today!

I started this new decade a bit groggy, not from the nice “cava” my son-in-law Andrew gave me on New Year’s Eve, but from staying up after midnight watching the Netflix film The Two Popes.

Yes, I indulged myself. My son AJ thoughtfully let me watch this film and I didn’t regret it at all. To us seniors not yet hooked on Netlix, this is a good time to ask the younger generation to show you how to watch this film on this live streaming platform.

I loved the film. Beautifully, thoughtfully produced, fantastic acting by Anthony Hopkins as Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict and Jonathan Pryce as Jorge Bergoglio/Pope Francis. One must remember this is a historically factual film in that these two popes exist and interacted—and still do—but the producers were not and are still not privy to their private conversations. As such it is fiction based on reality. It is a “what if Pope Benedict talked to Cardinal Bergoglio before his resignation…” or “what if Cardinal Bergoglio opened up his past and his heart to Pope Benedict…” What ifs. What creative minds the writers, director, and producer have to have put out this movie!

This is not a purely “for Catholics only” film. It’s for everyone who enjoys a great movie, especially to start the year with. Also it was not meant to pit one pope against the other. If at all, it should make us pray for both of them more.

Pope Francis, right, greets Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, at the Vatican, June 30, 2015. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is leaving the Vatican for his first sojourn since retiring. Photo from L'Osservatore Romano.

Pope Francis, right, greets Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, at the Vatican, June 30, 2015. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is leaving the Vatican for his first sojourn since retiring. Photo from L’Osservatore Romano.

I was able to see Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome when Archbishop Ricardo Vidal of Cebu was made cardinal by Pope John Paul ll. I was an accidental media invitee of first lady Imelda Marcos to witness the rites and later she hosted a grand lunch for the then powerful Cardinal Ratzinger. As for Pope Francis, I saw him in person, when he called on President Noy Aquino at the Palace. We were at the Palace grounds and the two walked slowly past us after the military honors. That was a beautiful sight! For us Catholics who follow the Church teachings, The Two Popes makes us stop, look, and listen with more intensity now to the Vatican’s pronouncements and activities. Viva il Papa! Thank you, Cardinal Ratzinger, for your concern for the Church.

Here is a snippet of Pope Francis’ Christmas message for those who did not get a chance to read it.

“May Emmanuel bring light to all the suffering members of our human family. May he soften our often stony and self-centered hearts, and make them channels of his love. May he bring his smile, through our poor faces, to all the children of the world: to those who are abandoned and those who suffer violence. Through our frail hands, may he clothe those who have nothing to wear, give bread to the hungry, and heal the sick. Through our friendship, such as it is, may he draw close to the elderly and the lonely, to migrants and the marginalized. On this joyful Christmas Day, may he bring his tenderness to all and brighten the darkness of this world.”

And typical of this Pope Francis, he ended the message by asking people to pray for him!



Source: Manila Bulletin

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