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.
In a last desperate effort to prevent World War III, one man is chosen to succeed where all the world's leaders have failed. That man was once a prisoner in a Russian labor camp. He is now the Pope.
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Did You Know?
Alex North re-used the opening fanfare he wrote for 2001: A Space Odyssey
(1968), but which had been rejected by Stanley Kubrick, as one of the main themes in his score. See more
Kiril Lakota is often identified as a Russian, when in fact he is an Ukrainian, a different ethnic group. Ukraine was then part of the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, Westerners - especially Americans - typically referred to the Soviet Union as "Russia" and did not distinguish between various nationalities within the Soviet Union, referring to all of them as "Russians." See more
My brothers, if this is the last sound made by the last living man, it must be shouted loud and clear. Life is a gift of God.
Referenced in Lionpower from MGM