ROME — A new documentary produced by the Knights of Columbus traces the background of Pope Francis, offering insight into his life and thought through the words of those who know him best.
“This documentary introduces people to Pope Francis in a very accessible way,” said Andrew Walther, one of the documentary’s executive producers.
“Most people know something about our Holy Father,” Walther said, “but through his own words and the interviews with those who worked with him in Argentina, as well as with key Catholic figures in the United States, this film will help give viewers an in-depth understanding of the Pope's thought, life and work.”
The hour-long Francis: The Pope From the New World will air on the Fox Business Network on Oct. 20, at 5pm Eastern time.
It will offer viewers a chance to learn more about Pope Francis — the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas and the first pope to take the name Francis — whose distinct style has captured headlines ever since his election.
Produced largely in the Pope’s home country of Argentina, the film features interviews with the Holy Father’s friends, co-workers and brother priests, as well as his biographer and the poor people in Buenos Aires whose lives he touched.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who is also one of the project’s executive producers, said the film “arrives as the world realizes that a very special man has assumed the leadership of the Catholic Church, and this begins — but does not end — with his gestures of humility and care for everyone.”
“Still, what remain largely unknown to the public are many details of Pope Francis’ life, the work he has done and the ways in which he has defended the voiceless and Catholic principles,” Anderson said. “This documentary delves into those stories.”
The Pope From the New World starts with Francis’ introduction to the world from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on March 13.
It then delves into his background in Argentina, where the Pope was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio and lived for years as a simple Jesuit priest.
Exploring the history of his life, viewers are offered a better understanding of the Holy Father, from his family life at home to his vocation story, compassion for the poor and love of soccer.
The documentary also examines the Pope’s time as a Jesuit provincial and his work to protect those endangered by Argentina’s Dirty War, as well as his efforts on behalf of those struggling with the economic and political situations in the country — sometimes drawing sharp opposition from those in political power.
Guzman Carriquiry Lecour, secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, described Francis: The Pope From the New World as an “excellent introduction to the life and thought of our Holy Father.”
“Through his own words, and through the stories of those who knew him well and worked closely with him, this documentary takes you on an eye-opening journey through many of the key events in the life of Jorge Mario Bergoglio,” Carriquiry said.
“It makes clear why this man was so well qualified and prepared to become pope,” he added. “Anyone who wants a better understanding of Pope Francis would do well to start with this film.”
The documentary has also drawn the praise of Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, who said that it will help viewers see the Holy Father “more clearly.”
“The whole world is talking about Pope Francis,” Archbishop Gomez said. “All this interest is a sign that millions in our secularized societies are still seeking God — and they’re still looking to the Catholic Church to show them the way.”
The film, he said, “presents a pope who has a beautiful vision for human happiness and a pope who is calling the Church to deeper love for Jesus and a new desire to bring our neighbors to God.”
Watch the full trailer here.