We just finished watching The Two Popes on Netflix, a surprisingly engaging film about the relationship between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. If you enjoy a quality character study presented by two excellent actors, you will likely find this movie worth your time. A detailed description of the film is available on Wikipedia.
It was a timely viewing for me as I’ve been obsessing over the last month about how Catholics Could Save The World. And so it was morbidly fascinating to spend some time with the two most influential Catholics in the world, who in the course of a two hour film never mentioned nuclear weapons and the ever imminent collapse of modern civilization even once.
Lest that sound cynical, it was actually an educational experience to watch these two Popes interact, as I began to realize why the Catholic Church has not already laser focused their congregation on nuclear weapons. Just like me, and pretty much everyone else, they’ve been spending the last 75 years since the dawn of the nuclear age attending to their routine daily business.
I didn’t need to look any further than my own little life to understand why two Pope’s would not be talking with each other about nuclear weapons. I’ve known about nuclear war since I was a ten year old boy growing up in Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Since then I’ve been a life long news junkie and am thus reasonably well informed about geo-politics and such.
And yet it’s only in the last month that nuclear weapons have become part of my daily thought stream. If I could largely ignore nuclear weapons for almost my entire life, why not Popes too? Catholics not saving the world started to make some sense.
I’m sure someone reading this will remind me of all the sermons and actions Catholics have already addressed to nuclear weapons, and that would be entirely fair. Pope Francis did recently declare the possession of nuclear weapons to be immoral after all.
But such modest efforts, as well intended as they are, seem to truly lack an understanding of what is really at stake with nuclear weapons. My modest efforts too, my lack of understanding also.
Nuclear weapons are a loaded gun in the mouth of the Church. And the rest of us as well.
And yet we’re still far more interested in Papal protocol and the Super Bowl than we are the loaded gun.
We are human beings.
We are beyond bizarre.
Someday perhaps I’ll emerge from my own bizarre little ordinary dreams to finally and fully grasp that it has always been so.