A Review of ‘The Two Popes’ on Netflix
‘As Nietzsche remarked, “The saint pleasing to God is the ideal castrato”.
As a Survivor of 18 years of clerical rapes in Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes, Religious Schools, and Orphanages. I was loath to watch the movie ‘The Two Popes’ because of the title ‘The Two Popes’ I honestly didn’t want to see a Hollywood whitewash job. But when a close friend advised me to watch the Movie, I was still doubtful. To be honest I wasn’t sure in the beginning if I would enjoy such a film. I mentally hemmed and hawed with myself all Xmas morning. I knew the movie was released by Netflix which I had on my Apple-Box. My friend normally more cautious than me, advised me to take some time out and watch the movie. I though to myself, he, my friend is trying to tell me something, so Xmas day, in the late afternoon and with a glass of red wine plus a cheeseboard, I sat myself down on my lounge sofa and switched the movie on. I still had doubts, but luckily the two main actors I have always enjoyed watching, Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce.
I thought, still deliberating to myself as the credits rolled, I will watch a few minutes and switch over to another movie more to my taste. It stated that it was based on a true story. The backdrop of The Two Popes was set against the recent and ongoing sexual rape of tens of millions of children and the still ongoing cover-up by the powerful Roman Catholic Church. The film wasn't about historical accuracy, it didn’t need to be. The film contrasted the old corrupt church and the very powerful majestic Vatican. The very rich as against the very poor, the poor and downtrodden in which they are suppose to speak for.
In fairness the movie did a good job showing only enough of the political chaos -pre-Peron Argentina and Nazi Germany, in flash backs- that provided the background for these two tired old men. For me the movie was about retaining absolute power of the Roman Catholic Church. The power passing between the old rightwing Nazi Pope, Benedict XVI, known as Ratzinger to another old leftwing supporter of The Argentina Junta, supported by the Catholic Church’s, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio who would later become the first Jesuit Pope, Pope Francis. The exposure of the complicity of Francis in the terrible human rights abuses in Argentina by the Junta- the brutal murder and rapes of his own people, including his Clerics, Priests and Nuns was fearless and accurate. Ratzinger got away almost scot-free, without suffering any punishment of the financial and sexual rapes of children, in which he actively covered up on behalf of his Church for 50 years.
The modern Catholic Church problems, as terrible as they are, are small when compared to the world these leaders came from. An excellent film about a particularly important struggle within the Catholic Church at this time. Beautifully filmed, great music, great dialogue. But the movie let the cruel and conservative Nazi Benedict off very lightly, given the series of child rape scandals world wide, including his own Brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger who as head of the Domspatzen Boys Choir in Regensburg Cathedral and school.
A very recent German Government report has found that at least 500 Boys of this prestigious Catholic boys’ choir in Germany were physically or sexually raped by Catholic Priests. The Nazi Benedict once said- No Complaint, No Plaintiff, No Judge.
The Child rapes involving the Domspatzen Boys Choir in Regensburg, which was run for over 40 years by Pope Benedict’s elder brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger. Monsignor Georg Ratzinger knew and admitted participating in the abuse of the children both in his Choir and school. The Official Report goes on to say that 500 boys at the Domspatzen’s school were raped and physically beaten by Priests, including Pope Benedict’s elder brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger. It counted 570 cases of physical violence and rape committed by a total of 49 Priests, attached to both the Cathedral Choir and School in Munich, Germany. The choir was led from 1964 to 1994 by Monsignor Georg Ratzinger. In a 2010 interview with Passauer Neue Presse newspaper in Germany, he said
‘I would often give clips around the ear to the children even though my conscience was later troubled for doing this,” but added he never injured a child or left bruises.’
Monsignor Georg Ratzinger never spoke about the rapes and violence against the children by himself or by his Priests.
When the Nazi Pope Ratzinger dies, the official cause will be elderly enfeeblement and he will be buried with the true weight of his many lies, covered by the coverups of corruption. I suspect that the old boy will drown in bottles of remorse, aghast at his crimes and un-Christian sins of this, his organised cult. The rape by both himself and his Clerics of countless innocent Children, in their millions, in which he actively covered up for 60 years.
My view as a Survivor is this movie may help the Roman Catholic Church to move forward in ways that benefit more people, if that is the case then I’m happy I saw it. Catholics don’t like the truth. I wanted more from the movie than what it’s trying to do and say, and I will admit there’s certainly room for the storyline to go further in exploring Benedict and Francis’s differing approaches to the corrupt Church. All in all, a fine movie, I shall watch it again in the very near future. Owen Felix O’Neill
PS. I will do a follow up in a few weeks