Pick of the week
Rebel Pope Sunday, 8.30pm, Nat Geo (610) It’s Easter, so perfect timing to dig into what makes Pope Francis tick: what led Jorge Mario Bergoglio from middle-class Buenos Aires to Vatican City in Rome to become the 266th pontiff. The first non-European pope since Syrian Gregory III in 741 and the first Jesuit pope, Francis (named for St Francis of Assisi) has won hearts, both Catholic and nonCatholic, around the world. His humanity, gentle demeanour, dislike of luxury (he often drives a Ford Focus) and his radical views have helped turn the Vatican into an institution more attuned to the 21st century. This documentary explores what shaped him during his 79 years from a tango-loving youth working as a bouncer in a Buenos Aires bar to pay his university fees, graduating with a master’s degree in chemistry and overcoming his mother’s efforts to stop him joining the priesthood, to a Pope who doesn’t hesitate to kiss the feet of AIDS patients, has excommunicated wayward priests, confronted the Mafia, embraced other faiths, eats in the canteen and sometimes travels by bus. Although he had one lung removed as a teenager, Pope Francis has visited 15 countries since taking office in 2013. Energetic, dynamic and controversial — a Pope who preaches building bridges, not walls — Francis is rich material for this docudrama, which features exclusive interviews with those closest to him.