Ukrainian Archbishop Kiril Lakota is set free after twenty years as a political prisoner in Siberia. He is brought to Rome by Father 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 Father Telemond, who is under scrutiny for his beliefs, and find a solution to the crisis in China.
All the dramatic power of the best-selling novel is now on the screen!
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Did You Know?
In the scene where Pope Kiril I (Anthony Quinn) 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 taken from a Siberian labor camp to Moscow over a water route during winter. This is a very slow and impractical route. See more
Fr. David Telemond
It is strange. When a president dies, he's replaced within an hour. When a king dies, long live the king. When a pope dies, everything stops.
Referenced in Cinema: Sir Laurence Olivier