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?
Although it is never mentioned nor indicated at any point in the movie, the story is set twenty years in the future. See more
A map of Indo-China labelled in Cyrillic, which can be seen in the movie's trailer, appears to have the word Kambodzha, the Russian for Cambodia, written over the country of Laos. See more
You know, David, for many men belief is a place to crawl for safety. Of course, they will fear and accuse you. Your writings are a danger to their safety.