A glimpse behind the Vatican’s walls

By Tom Quiner


A new pope will be selected this month.

Wouldn’t you love to know what is going on behind Vatican walls? To the faithful, they know that the Holy Spirit is at work. To the secular, they know some politicin’ is going on.

If you take a look at the sidebar on the right side of Quiner’s Diner, you’ll see a link to my favorite religious movies to watch during Lent. One of them is The Shoes of the Fisherman.

The movie dramatizes the selection process of a fictional pope. Watch the clip above for a scene where the Cardinals get to know each other.

Jesuit priest and author, James Martin, sets up the scene above:

“In this scene Cardinal Kiril Lakota (Anthony Quinn) speaks about his time in the concentration camps of the Soviet Union, and you can see his fellow cardinals taking their measure of him. Don’t laugh: several bishops, archbishops and cardinals have undergone exactly such suffering in our time. In such conversations–this one fictional of course–over espresso, do the cardinals come to know one another and feel the working of the Holy Spirit.”

The selection of a pope is a high-stakes drama. He is the de-facto leader of the Christian world, the focal point of spiritual and political warfare.

Give yourself a treat: rent The Shoes of the Fisherman.



  1. Bob Vance on March 6, 2013 at 4:57 am

    What do you think of the recent Mother Theresa stories?

    • quinersdiner on March 6, 2013 at 6:05 am

      Not sure to what you refer.

      • Bob Vance on March 6, 2013 at 10:37 am

        “A new study in the religious studies journal Religieuses says that the late Mother Teresa’s reputation is mostly hype — a result of a church declining in popularity trying to boost its image.”

        Not necessarily new news, but the first time a religious study backed up what critics have been saying all along.

    • Karen Quiner on March 6, 2013 at 10:29 am

      If you are referring to the article in THE WEEK – “Was Mother Teresa actually sort of a jerk”, it is disgusting, ridiculous, and no one who knows anything about her or encountered her would give such trashy speculation the time of day or honor it by even discussing it.

      • Bob Vance on March 6, 2013 at 10:39 am

        Didn’t see your reply before I posted…

      • Bob Vance on March 6, 2013 at 11:06 am

        Regarding Mother Teresa, I see her as a person who never asked to be pushed into the spotlight. I am sure she has strengths as well as weaknesses. I have no doubt she devoted her live to help others.

        The part I was questioning you guys on is if you think the church could have used her (as critics have claimed) to try to boost its image, and if so, is it justified?

  2. Theresa Dowd on March 6, 2013 at 6:39 am

    The book is excellent.

    • quinersdiner on March 6, 2013 at 9:48 am

      The author, Morris West, wrote another good one: “The Clowns of God.”

  3. Karen Quiner on March 6, 2013 at 11:05 am

    The world doesn’t like Saints, because they challenge us and make us squirm. Of course the world has to find something wrong with her!
    Read John 15:20

  4. Karen Quiner on March 6, 2013 at 11:13 am

    The church did not use her to boost its image. The Church promotes our Saints because they are models for us. They mirror Christ. We look at them and say “I want to be like that. They are mere humans with their own flaws and weaknesses, and if they can so beautifully model Jesus and become a Saint, maybe I can also.”

    Mother Teresa didn’t ask for the limelight and wasn’t about her own glory, and probably her life would have been easier without it, but she didn’t shirk it either. She knew that it was part of her mission, part of what Jesus asked of her.

    I have read stories about how people knew they were in the presence of someone special with her and were humbled by her, no matter what their faith was.

    You have to work pretty hard to find fault with Mother Teresa.

    By the way, I know you are just posing a question and were not personally criticizing her Bob.