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Pope Francis The Sinner Image Name: Pope Francis The Sinner Description: Pope Francis with his former Press Sec Fr Guillermo Marcó

Would You Believe? – New Series – episode 1 

The Pope who calls himself ‘a sinner’ is, certainly, a man of contradictions. But who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio? How did the man who was loved and loathed by his fellow Jesuits back in Argentina become Pope?  And can he hold the Roman Catholic Church together and reform it at the same time?

In just two years Pope Francis has put Roman Catholicism back on the map as a faith that has something to offer a troubled world.  He’s beginning to revolutionise a church that was in crisis and losing its way.  Pope Francis’ simplicity, down to earth style and concern for those on the margins, have roused affection from believers and non believers alike.  But he wasn’t always as popular as he is today.

This documentary looks at the life of Jorge Mario Bergoglio and what shaped him into the Pope he is today.  Hearing from Argentinean Jesuits who lived with him, the programme explores his reputation as a hard-line authoritarian Provincial who divided the Jesuits.   Friends, contemporaries and students of Fr Bergoglio give their first hand experience of the man they knew, and categorically deny his complicity in Argentina’s Dirty War.

Behind the simple exterior hides a man of deep complexity and a Jesuit through and through. But can Pope Francis do what Bergoglio, the Jesuit Provincial couldn’t do – hold the differences in the Church together and reform it at the same time?  Signs are that he’s making a good stab at it and he’s doing so not despite his failings but because of them.

Pope Francis – The Sinner airs on Monday, 16th March at 9.35pm on RTÉ One