"[He's] been Pope for about seven months, but he’s been alive for more than seven decades and he has an extensive track record,” explains one of the executive producers for the documentary.
With all the controversy from Catholics and non-Catholics alike concerning the Holy Father’s interviews and actions, not many have paused to consider the man beneath the miter. Pope Francis has certainly succeeded in capturing the world’s attention through his unique example of faith, but there remains a lack of knowledge about his origins among the general public.
Fortunately, the Knights of Columbus have produced a revealing new documentary on the life of Pope Francis before his election, so that the public might gain a more complete understanding of him. Entitled Francis: The Pope From the New World, the hour-long documentary is set to air on the FOX Business Network on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
Many already know that the Pope was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Argentina, but not many are fully aware of the work he accomplished while serving the poor throughout his home country. The documentary will strive to fill in those gaps.
Beginning with clips from Pope Francis’s memorable election night in St. Peter’s Square on March 13, the documentary will then begin a detailed journey through his early days in the streets of Buenos Aires.
“Our Holy Father has been Pope for about seven months, but he’s been alive for more than seven decades and he has an extensive track record,” Andrew Walther, one of the executive producers for the documentary, explains.
Walther told Aleteia that the documentary will present a range of interviews with those who knew Pope Francis well or worked with him regularly, thereby giving viewers the chance to go “beyond the headlines and meet the man himself” through first hand insights into his personal life.
Since the Knights hoped to capture the full extent of the Pope’s fascinating life story, the documentary was filmed largely on-location in Argentina. This yielded a great amount of testimonies and stories on the Pope’s generosity and kindness, provided by those who knew him best.
“From the homeless woman on the steps of the Cathedral, to the people who lived in the poorest parts of Buenos Aires, to those who knew him as a child, as a priest, and as Archbishop,” the Knights found that it was Pope Francis’s “caring concern for people” as well as “his commitment to Church teaching” that was confirmed as “absolutely genuine” by the decades’ worth of personal testimonies concerning his life.
Decoding the life of a man with such a substantial history hasn’t exactly been an easy task. “No one can be fully understood from one sentence or event,” says Walther. “Imagine trying to understand Christ by just reading a single line from one of the Gospels, and then not reading the rest of that Gospel – let alone the other three.”
With the Knights providing such a wealth of information from the Pope’s days before being elected Bishop of Rome, it is not unrealistic to hope that more will come to understand the man himself and gain a greater respect for his work.
Walther, for one, hopes that Pope Francis’s message of loving God through “commitment to one’s neighbor, to those most in need” will be what viewers ultimately take away from the documentary.
To view the trailer and to learn more about the film, visit www.popefrancisdocumentary.com.