Pope John XXIII
|Title:||Pope John XXIII|
|Original title:||Giovanni XXIII - Il Papa della Pace|
|Format:||2 x two hours|
|Produced by:||Produced by LUX VIDE in cooperation with EOS-ENTERTAINMENT for RAI in association with Beta|
Pope John XXIIIHe wanted to be an ordinary priest, but he changed the face of the world forever
It is 1958, and Pope Pius XII has just passed away. Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, the aged, ailing Patriarch of Venice, is on his way to Vatican City to take part in the secret - and intensely political - conclave to elect a new Pope. There he is drawn into the heated struggle between progressive cardinals and the conservative Cardinals Ottaviani and Tardini.
As the conclave progresses, Roncalli's past unfolds in vivid scenes of him supporting striking workers as a young priest; secretly negotiating with the Nazi ambassador to save a trainload of Jews as a Vatican diplomat in Turkey; convincing the imperious De Gaulle not to oust several contested bishops in France. Finally, on the twelfth ballot, a Pope is elected: Angelo Roncalli, who takes the name of John XXIII.
Though expected to be a harmless caretaker, he amazes the world by convoking the Second Vatican Council - a bold step towards modernizing the Church and ensuring that this institution, one of the oldest in the world, can continue to flourish in the late 20th century and beyond. For him, it is a race against time - he knows he will not live much longer - as well as a struggle against his conservative opponents.More pressing, and troubling, is the conflict between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. With unsuspected cunning, he succeeds in pulling Kennedy and Khrushchev back from the brink of nuclear war.
In 1963, when the Council is in its second year, Angelo Roncalli reaches the end of his life. He can now face death with the comforting knowledge that he is leaving the Church better adapted to modernity, and the world a more peaceful place.