The documentary Amen. Francis replies it is not a permissive production, or one that is entirely in favor of the Dad. In his meeting with ten young people from different parts of the planet, on the outskirts of Rome, they ask him about everything: abortion, paedophilia, migrations, racism, if he has a salary, what he does when he has to buy something expensive, if he doesn’t want to have a partner .
The film is quite concise – it doesn’t last an hour and a half – and in it the Supreme Pontiff utters some strong sentences. Like, in passing, he says that “The Church becomes a circle of good people” if it does nothing but its mission to help others. Or “There is a lot of corruption in the institution of the Church”, always in a calm tone.
There are ten young people waiting for him, 20 minutes from Vatican City. Five live in Spain, a Senegalese, also a Muslim, a girl from Boston, with immigrant parents from India, and three Latin Americans from Colombia, Peru and Santiago del Estero, Argentina.
The Pope limps, due to his knee – the documentary was filmed in mid-2022 -, but he doesn’t shy away from any questions. And when he doesn’t begin to answer, there is the young María, the eldest of six brothers and a fervent Catholic, who is like the voice of faith, of the Church and who cuts more than a penalty for the part of the Pope.
Because the topics are varied and critical. “The contradiction is not taking charge of one’s own history, and taking charge of the past costs money, it is what costs us Christians the most”, is one of the Pontiff’s mea culpas.
“I’ve had bad times in my life,” he will say, without clarifying which ones.
Lili is from Santiago, catechist and feminist, and belongs to the group “Catholics for the right to decide”. It is he who raises the question of abortion. “Why did the church in Argentina want to obstruct women’s rights? Jesus would have accompanied her, he would not have judged the woman.’ Lili is the one who gets up and hands the Pope a green handkerchief.
Francis’ response is that he asks priests “to be merciful to women who have had an abortion. A month after conception is already a human life. Is it permissible to take a human life?” asks the Argentine.
The discussion that follows is led by women, who are the majority -7 of the 10 young people-. The Pope listens, just like the men in the assembly, and saves “the delicacy of their arguments”, not without comparing those who practice abortion with… hit men.
“A woman who has an abortion cannot be left alone, you must accompany her, not send her to hell. But don’t justify the damage ”, she says, always in an affable, friendly and calm tone.
Can you imagine if these questions were asked of his predecessor, Benedict XVI?
A Spanish boy talks about the hypocrisy of the Church. He refers to pedophilia. He went to college Opus Deiand was sexually abused. At one point his father wrote to the Pope. Now the case has a definitive sentence. “I don’t want child abuse to ever be statute-barred. The abuser or abuser destroys the child. I would like the case to be reviewed. Zero tolerance, this is the policy of the Church,” says Bergoglio.
Faced with more questions on the same aspect, he will say that «it is a human problem, of human degeneration. In the Church we are creating a social conscience”, for which the directors of the documentary give an overview of the faces of the young people.
Their faces say more than words.
One wonders what the casting will have been like, the selection of young people, which includes a non-binary and Christian person, an agnostic, a young woman who creates adult content, pornography, a former nun who now has a homosexual partner.
“The Church cannot close the door to anyone”, declared the Pope, just when the documentary seemed to become a bit boring and/or repetitive, and that is when he greeted the young people and the feeling that remains is that there was courage and courage on the part of the two parts of the speech, evil that weighs on some.
Documentary. Spain, 2023. 83′, SAM 13. From: By Marius Sanchez and Jordi Evole. Available in: Star+.
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.