“I’ve been training all my life to become an invisible pope,” Lenny Belardo said after becoming pope. While the idea of an invisible pope in itself is unheard of, it is not the only thing that doesn’t make sense about the most interesting pope in TV history. Jude Law’s performance as Pius XIII in The Young Pope and The New Pope is highly acclaimed, and many fans hope that the show will be renewed for a third season.
The two seasons of Pius XIII are probably the closest that TV has gotten to the Vatican, bringing out lots of details about the politics of The Holy See. The show created a saint out of a living pope with miracles and piety but not without human limits. Although Pius XIII was supposed to be mysterious, viewers still have to ask questions because these aspects of his papacy still don’t make sense.
10 His First Public Adress
The pope’s first public address at the Vatican is always a highly televised event, and everyone gets the chance to see the pope when he addresses the faithful for the first time. Pius XIII chose to be invisible, though, although he wasn’t that invisible.
He was standing at the raised window-like podium where the papal address is supposed to happen, and when a member of the public lit a torch, it shone on his face. That beats the whole sense of being invisible because anyone with a smartphone that can flash or a powerful camera could still get a shot of him. So, how did a man with a torch enter St. Peter’s Square but somehow, no one came with a smartphone or a camera?
9 His Relationship With Esther
It was sad watching a pope fall in love but still have to fight it and hurt poor Esther that way. The affair was Voiello’s plot to bring Pius XIII’s downfall, which failed terribly. There was still chemistry between Esther and Lenny, though, and as a pope, he had more than enough places to break his vows with Esther if he wanted to.
However, of all the places to get seduced, the pope chose a garden with the statue of The Lady of Guadalupe to get confused into touching Esther inappropriately. Pius XIII knew there were lots of people walking around in the Vatican gardens and surely wouldn’t choose to mess with the church’s fate in such a public place.
8 Identifying His Fake Parents
How far back does one’s memory of smells go? Lenny Belardo wasn’t even 10 years old when his parents abandoned him at the orphanage. Normally kids would hardly remember their parents’ images a decade later if they were dumped at such a young age, leave alone what their dad and mum smelled like.
Lenny Belardo was fooled into thinking that his parents had remembered him by the sight of the other half of the broken pipe he had carried all his life. While it is good that he discovered they were imposters, the method he used of smelling them all over to see if they smelled like they did over 30 years ago was both gross and unrealistic.
7 The Sleeping Plane
What are the chances of everyone on a Dreamliner falling asleep? Well, the plane which the pope and a couple of journalists boarded on their way to Africa had lots of people, but somehow, no one saw him. When the pope came out, everyone on the plane was asleep except one old man who seemed too shocked to see him that he didn’t say anything.
While it is normal to fall asleep on a plane, mass slumber is not normal unless the Vatican entourage managed to drug everyone on board. If you won a lottery to board the same plane as a pope that has never been seen before, you would try as much as possible to stay awake and get a glimpse of him.
6 Sister Antonia’s Death
Sister Antonia’s death is one of Lenny Belardo’s most impressive miracles and probably his most controversial. Sister Antonia was not the saint she claimed to be as she poisoned the very people she was sent to protect and even broke her vows of celibacy.
When the pope found out from the priest that couldn’t speak English about Antonia’s crimes, he had more than enough powers to strip the evil nun of her position. However, the pope chose to pray for God to kill Antonia, maybe not in those exact words but something close. Surely, stripping her of her position or transferring her was more pope-like than simply praying for her to drop dead.
5 His Treatment of Spencer
Cardinal Spencer was supposed to be pope instead of Belardo, but Voiello’s politics backfired. Spencer was still Pius XIII’s mentor and, obviously, the only cardinal whose conservative views Lenny supported. Whenever anyone close to Belardo got sick, he prayed for them, and in most cases, a miracle happened, and they would be cured.
When it came to Spencer, who wished nothing but the best for Lenny and the church, the pope didn’t seem so interested in his healing. How would a man who was so attached to his parents who abandoned him be so disinterested in the well-being of the only father figure he got to know in his life?
4 His Coma
One of the most disappointing things about Pius XIII in the two seasons of The Young Pope is the uncertainty surrounding his health. He seemed to collapse frequently with no apparent cause, maybe because all he ate was his cherry Coke Zero. His collapse in Venice in the season finale of The Young Pope didn’t make any sense, though.
Before someone falls sick enough to go into a coma, there has to be an underlying health condition. The pope is always supplied with the best medical care of anyone in the Vatican, but apparently, no one had seen signs of the pope dying soon. The cause of his collapse was an apparent sighting of his parents. Surely, no one goes into a coma just because they saw their long lost parents.
3 His Sudden Recovery
Lenny Belardo was in a coma for over five months, sedated and in a vegetative state. Then came his miraculous recovery that murdered Pope Francis II when he moved his finger. While his recovery can be accepted medically, his sudden return of strength can’t.
When someone wakes up from five months of being vegetative, they require lots of physiotherapy; they don’t just jump off the bed, thank their caregiver half-heartedly, then walk off. Besides, Belardo had just had another heart transplant, so unless he had a supernatural body, that would need some months if not years of close medical attention.
2 Addressing The Cardinals After His Recovery
Lenny Belardo coming back from the dead caused confusion in the show as to who the rightful pope should be. On a normal day, one of the two living popes would have resigned to allow for the church’s smooth running, but in the show, both Pius XIII and Johnpaul III had claims to the papacy.
Johnpaull III was still the rightful pope, though, and no pope in his right senses would allow another pope, even if they were an angel, to address the cardinals wearing the papal tiara as Lenny did. Johnpaul III also sat back like a cardinal while the rest of the cardinals listened meekly as the wrong pope shouted orders at them, something that would never happen in the Vatican.
1 His Death
The New Pope then went back to the same old disappointing trick of killing and reviving Pius XIII, except in the finale, they made it even more ridiculous. Lenny was already too alive for a man that was supposed to be dead a few weeks back. He was in good health as he addressed the crowd and let himself be lifted above their heads in St. Peters’ square.
While no pope would allow that, they still wouldn’t just die because someone lifted them in their arms if they did. Unless Pius XIII had an on and off switch like a robot, his sudden switch from alive and healthy to dead doesn’t make any biological sense.