Set in a futuristic vision of the late 1980's, Ukrainian Archbishop Kiril Lakota is set free after two decades as a political prisoner in Siberia. He is brought to Rome by Fr. David Telemond, a troubled young priest who befriends him. Once at the Vatican, he is immediately given an audience with the Pope, who elevates him to Cardinal Priest. The world is on the brink of war due to a Chinese-Soviet feud made worse by a famine caused by trade restrictions brought against China by the U.S. When the Pontiff suddenly dies, Lakota's genuine character and unique life experience move the College of Cardinals to elect him as the new Pope. But Pope Kiril I must now deal with his own self-doubt, the struggle of his friend Fr. Telemond who is under scrutiny for his beliefs, and find a solution to the crisis in China. Written by
Did You Know?
In the scene where Pope Kiril prays over the body of the Jewish man, he recites the Shema. However, rather than say "Adonai", he says, "Hashem." This is because "Adonai" is traditionally only said when one is actually at prayer, and not simply reciting a prayer in a secular context, as in during a performance (specifically, in a movie). See more
Kiril Lakota is often identified as a Russian, when in fact he is an Ukrainian, a different nationality. See more
The bell tolls. The Pope is dead. Listen to the bell.
[Crossed himself. Cut to multiple shots of mourners in the streets of Rome
This is the death knell that rings... only for the pontiff. Listen - there is a second bell. Soon they will be joined by other bells all over the city, all over every city, all over the world. The Pope is dead.