Bill Donohue comments on a new TV series about a fictional American pope, His Holiness Pope Lenny:
Paolo Sorrentino, the Italian director who won an Oscar for best foreign film, “The Great Beauty,” is planning a TV series about the Vatican. According to Religion News Service, it will be about a “scandal-rife Vatican.” Imagine that—viewers will be treated to a Vatican riddled with corruption!
Religion News Service implies we should not be concerned because the new series “will be no less controversial” than the movie, “This Must Be the Place.” That film featured Sean Penn as a Nazi hunter. Am I missing something? What exactly is controversial about hunting down Nazis? Indeed, the U.K.’s Jewish Film Festival hailed it.
Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty” was slammed by one Vatican reviewer as being nothing more than a “useless” Fellini rip-off. The New York Times was tougher: it said that Sorrentino’s “portrayal of the Roman Catholic Church is particularly scathing.”
The Hollywood Reporter also tells us not to worry about Sorrentino’s TV venture. “Interest in the papacy and the Vatican has risen dramatically with the popularity of the new pope.” Imagine what Catholics would be treated to if the entertainment industry didn’t like Pope Francis? In any event, I can only guess what the “Lenny effect” will be.