Pope John Paul II (miniseries)

2005 television miniseries directed by John Kent Harrison

Pope John Paul II is a 2005 television mini-series, dramatizing the life of Pope John Paul II (Karol Józef Wojtyła), from his early adult years in Poland to his death at age 84. It stars Jon Voight, who portrays an older Wojtyła (after his investiture as pope in 1978), while Cary Elwes portrays Wojtyła in his earlier life from 1939 to 1978. Voight was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.

Directed by John Kent Harrison. Written by Francesco Contaldo, Salvatore Basile, Francesco Arlanch, Wesley Bishop and John Kent Harrison.
Based on the powerful true story (taglines)
The faith to inspire millions begins with the power of one. (taglines)

Karol Wojtyła/Pope John Paul II edit

  • Man does not live by rocks alone.
  • Faced with this abyss of evil. I can only respond with an abyss of love.
  • I will do whatever God asks.
  • [to his friends on sexuality] Listen, sexuality is dear to God. As long as it is an expression of true love. It is the matter we use to give ourselves to another person. Not for fun or for a moment. But completely. Sexuality expressed in an irresponsible moment is only another way that we can dehumanise each other.
  • Freedom to worship is a sacrosanct right of workers, all workers! And the fact that we are all here together demonstrates that this Catholic community is already a reality! As we stand here in the middle of Nowa Huta! There is already a church!
  • [when being asked about the Soviets removing their cross from Nowa Huta] Next Christmas, we shall put it back. We will put it back until it stays.
  • [seeing Roman for the first time after years] Praise God's mercy.
  • [praying] Is this what you always intended to guide me? Like me, perhaps Peter felt great trepidation. Perhaps he would prefer to remain by his lake, with his boat and his nets, like me. In you, there must be suffering ahead. The pope needs to be intimate with suffering. So, guided by you, he arrived here. And now you ask me... to leave Kraków, and my people, my friends, my beloved mountains. If this... is real. So be it. Mary, Totus Tuus. I am all yours.
  • [now the new Pope, speaking in Italian] Praised be Jesus Christ. ["Always be praised"] Dear Brothers and Sisters, the eminent Cardinals have called a new bishop of Rome. They have called him from a far country... Also I don't know if... if I can make myself clear in your, in our Italian language. If I make a mistake, I know you will correct me.
  • I am not a pope who will stay cloistered. I must get out. I must have contact, or I cannot be a pasture.
  • I want to be your voice, the voice of those who cannot speak. The voice of those who are silenced. The voice of the worker who can no longer wait for the full recognition of his dignity as a man and the Son of God.
  • We have been called to an impossible task. We can only trust in God and let him lead us.
  • [First Encyclical 'Redemptor Hominis'] Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is comprehensible for himself. His life is senseless. If love is not revealed to him. If he does not encounter love. If he does not experience it, make it his own. If he does not participate intimately in it...
  • Friendship is one of God's greatest gifts. A rare place where the truth is spoken.
  • I wish to sing a hymn of praise to Divine Providence which has allowed me to come home as a pilgrim. [the crowd of people cheer] I son of polish land. I John Paul Two. I shout from all the depths of this Millennium, I cry on the vigil of Pentecost: Lord, let your spirit descend! Let your spirit descend and renew the face of the earth. The face of this land!
  • Always remember, you are polish. And music is in your soul. Let me tell you one or two things. First, I love you all. [the crowd of people clap and cheer] Second, second, allow Christ to find you. Third, I wish I could stay with you here, and climb the Tatras. [the people start chanting "Stay with us!"] Too late. It's too late! Where were you last October when I was elected? [the people laugh]
  • Forgiveness is God's might.
  • [struggling to walk] I'm a sportsman! I've always been a sportsman! Now every step I take, is like a knife.
  • [learning about his illness] Let's get to it. I have work to do.
  • To discover your own unique person. This is a difficult undertaking. To become what you must become. You are asked to make sacrifices to bear burdens, and why you do all of this? It is a time in your life, you are asked to encounter the mystery of God. I can tell you this: When your way becomes too difficult. You must always remember, you are not alone. You are not alone. The living God walks beside you. He is, and always will be, your best friend. I also can say to you: I feel so refreshed by our celebration together this day that I believe we must repeat it next year. And the year after, and the year after that! We will call it - we will call it "World Youth Day"! It is our invention! How beautiful you are! God bless you all!
  • [to Cardinal Ratzinger] It's worth suffering for the truth. Without such will, we should not undertake that path. These words are yours, aren't they?
  • [after his last public appearance] We will try again tomorrow...
  • I leave no property behind me of which it is necessary to dispose. My personal notes are to be band. I ask that this be attended to by Father Stanislaw, whom I thank for his collaboration and help, so prolonged over the years and so understanding. As for all other thanks, I must leave them in my heart before God himself. Because it is difficult to express them.

Dialogue edit

Faced with this abyss of evil. I can only respond with an abyss of love.
Freedom to worship is a sacrosanct right of workers, all workers! And the fact that we are all here together demonstrates that this Catholic community is already a reality!
If you should be elected. I beg you to accept... For Poland. ~ Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński
When your way becomes too difficult. You must always remember, you are not alone. You are not alone. The living God walks beside you. He is, and always will be, your best friend.
Emilia Wojtyła: My little Lolek, you are a silly goose. The world is complicated, Lolek. God is simple.
Pope John Paul II: Holy Mary... My mother...
Emilia Wojtyła: I'll show you a simple way. One, two, three. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Now you.
Pope John Paul II: One... Two... Three...

Karol Wojtyła Snr: Right now, there is no time for Hamlet. You must get a work permit.
Karol Wojtyła: A permit? Work at what, father?
Karol Wojtyła Snr: If you don't have one. You risk being deported to Germany. Forced labor. Is that what you want?
Karol Wojtyła: What I want is to stop them.
Karol Wojtyła Snr: No, Karol. What you must want, is to stay alive, and to stay polish.

Karol Wojtyła: Forgive me, father. You're right. It is too dangerous. But in this moment, the Theatre is all I have. Besides your potatoes of course.
[Wojtyła Snr kisses his son on his forehead]

Karol Wojtyła: [giving a confession, tearfully] Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: Tell me, my son.
Karol Wojtyła: I - I no longer know... what to do, how to feel, how to respond. I feel... I have such anger in my heart, Father...
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: Anger is not a sin, to feel outrage in the face of evil is only normal. The more important question is, how do you express it?
Karol Wojtyła: I've begun to wonder, if I should take up arms.

Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: You're the alter boy, from Wadowice.
Karol Wojtyła: Yes. Karol Wojtyła, excellency.
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: I remember. You wanted to be an actor.
Karol Wojtyła: Yes, excellency.
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: And now?
Karol Wojtyła: And now a great evil has occupied our country. They treat us like animals, they murder Jews, they... [noticing a German soldier. Quietly] They shoot children.
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: Do not fear the men who can kill your body. Fear him who can destroy your soul. This is what our Lord tells us.
Karol Wojtyła: [short pause] I don't know what to think anymore.
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: Wisdom is a grace we must seek from God.
Karol Wojtyła: How can we fight them?
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: Violence only leads to more violence. If you must choose a weapon, choose the one they fear the most.
Karol Wojtyła: Our faith?
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: Yes, our faith, and our intelligence. [points to Karol's forehead] Our fine minds.
Karol Wojtyła: [smiles] Yes. Yes. Thank you, excellency. [kisses Sapieha's hand and walks away]
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: Wojtyła? [Karol turns] Caution.

Anna: What do you know about cutting stones?
Karol Wojtyła: It's what they permit me to do.
Anna: I never get to see you.
Karol Wojtyła: I'm sorry, Anna. It's just I've been having so many thoughts about how to resist.
Anna: By breaking rocks?
Karol Wojtyła: No, of course not.

Karol Wojtyła: ... Our skill, our imagination. Use all of it as a weapon.
Anna: What do you mean?
Karol Wojtyła: Well, if what they are trying to do is eliminate any trace of Poland, our objective must be to keep Poland alive. And so, we should put on a kind of... kind of subversive Theatre. You know? Put on plays that reflect who we are. [pause] You disagree?
Anna: Karol. What will happen to us? You and me? [pause] Tell me, please. I need to know what you're thinking.
Karol Wojtyła: Anna, what I think is... What I think is, you will have a beautiful future. Find a handsome, talented husband and have five or six wo--
Anna: What if I've already found him? [pause] Karol, I must know what you feel.
Karol Wojtyła: Anna. The times we are living in.... My heart is already consumed.
[pause. Anna walks away]

Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: Christianity itself is at stake. Therefore it is essential that you never mention you're training to anyone. You must go about your daily lives as if nothing has changed. At the same time, you must take advantage of every available moment to study and to pray. Being a priest means serving God. But it also means serving Poland. This is the highest form of resistance, to give hope to those who have none. And with God's good grace. We shall succeed.

Roman: [being taken away by the Germans] I'm proud to be Polish! I'm just as proud to be Jewish!
Karol Wojtyła: Roman!

Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: Karol, to be a good leader you must first learn to follow.

[Karol has just witnessed Marek killing two German soldiers with a switchblade. He runs over to one of the soldiers who is wounded, slowly dying. The German soldier points his gun at Karol's head]
Karol Wojtyła: Lord, most merciful God. Welcome this man's soul. [the soldier moves his gun away, dies] Forgive him his sins.
Marek: Let's go. [aggressively] Let's go! Stubborn. You are a fool, do you know that? You could've killed us both.
Karol Wojtyła: You didn't have to take their lives.
Marek: They were German.
Karol Wojtyła: They were human beings, Marek!
Marek: Not for what they do to us! They do not deserve to live!
Karol Wojtyła: God decides that. Not you!

Karol Wojtyła: One day, God may use you too, Marek!
Marek: Sure he will. I can hardly wait!

Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: [to Cardinal Sapieha] It's just what we need, another intellectual priest.
Karol Wojtyła: With all due respect, Archbishop Wyszyński. There are many of us who...
[Wyszyński hands Karol a photograph of Marek who is killed]
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: I understand you knew him. [Karol stands shocked] One by one, they are hunting down the members of the Home Army. They know that they will go underground again. Anyone who was a part of it and tried to spoil their plans for Communist Poland.
Karol Wojtyła: There are many ways to spoil such plans.
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: If you wish to survive, you have to understand.
Karol Wojtyła: Yes. Thank you, excellency.
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: I also tell you this because I am told that there are many young people in Poland who count on you.

Karol Wojtyła: Thank you, Holy Father. For allowing me to be present.
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: [dying] The time has come.
[Karol takes his hand]
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: Karol. Trust God. He has a plan for you. In you, he has placed a gift. Honour it.
Karol Wojtyła: I will do whatever God asks.
Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha: Dear God, protect him.

Karol Wojtyła: The Communists say this: "No room for God in their new city."
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: That is what they say.
Karol Wojtyła: They don't understand. He's already there.
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: Whatever you maybe thinking, we cannot afford a head on collision which will result in pain and bloodshed. We must work with them.
Karol Wojtyła: Apparently, there is an open area where a church could be built.

Cardinal Konig: I believe the Lord asks us to show the world the pope is not only and always an Italian.
Second Cardinal: The last known Italian was uh...
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: Exactly 455 years ago.
African Cardinal: We must have someone who can reach all people, all nations. A pope who can be papa to everyone.
Cardinal Konig: Especially youth.
African Cardinal: Yes, exactly. Young people need a voice they can trust.

Cardinal Konig: Siri and Benelli are deadlocked.
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: God has challenged us.
Cardinal Konig: Perhaps Poland could present a candidate?
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: No. I am too old, and if I left Poland, it would be a victory for the Communists.
Cardinal Konig: Eminence, there is another?
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: You - you don't mean... No, he's too young, far too young Wojtyła.
Cardinal Konig: Young, but one of the finest minds in the room.

Cardinal Karol Wojtyła: Your eminence, I - I am needed in Poland. I have so much to do, and there's so many people count on my... What must I do?
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: Do you remember Quo Vadis? Peter was fleeing Rome and he came across Jesus, who was going the other way, and he asked him--
Cardinal Karol Wojtyła: "Domine, quo vadis?"
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: "Lord, where are you going?" And our Lord replied.
Wyszyński and Wojtyła: "Eo Romam iterum crucifigi."
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: "I am returning to Rome to be crucified again." If you should be elected. I beg you to accept... For Poland.

Elderly Cardinal: [in Italian] Do you accept your canonical election as Supreme Pontiff?
[pause. Karol stands]
Cardinal Karol Wojtyła: [in Italian] I accept.

[Cardinals Felici and Konig walk out onto the Basilica balcony]
Cardinal Felici: I announce to you a great joy, we have a new Pope!
[the crowd of people cheer]
Cardinal Felici: Cardinal Woj-ty-la!
[Karol, now Pope John Paul II, walks up the stairs ready to step out onto the loggia]
Master of Ceremonies: Your Holiness, at this time. It is customary to give only the apostolic blessing.

Pope John Paul II: It's strange how much I miss it.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz: What, Holiness?
Pope John Paul II: Hiking, kayak trips. By now the Tatras must be covered in snow.

Pope John Paul II: My dear Casaroli. According to the rules, I need a Secretary of State.
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: Yes you do. And I would be happy to assist in the matter as I had the honour of serving Pope Paul VI.
Pope John Paul II: And that is why I want you to be my Secretary of State.
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: Oh. Holiness, no, no, no. Those were other times. I would be inadequate. You don't need me.
Pope John Paul II: But I do.
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: But why?
Pope John Paul II: You are tactful in ten languages, a master diplomat, deeply loyal. And as I have noticed on occasion, you have strongly held opinions that would not necessarily agree with mine. With God's blessing between the two of us, the scales will balance.
[pause. Casaroli smiles]
Pope John Paul II: Done. [they shake hands]

Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: [to the pope] Be cautious with matters dealing with religious freedom.
[meeting with Andrei Gromyko]
Andrei Gromyko: Five minutes. I believe the Catholic church cause great importance to the strengthened of peace, to the supplement, and to the liquidation of weapons of mass destruction.
Pope John Paul II: Yes, yes. We are in accord with all of that, of course. But, Mr. Gromyko, let me ask you one thing. Is it possible that the obstacles to religious freedom have not been entirely removed from every area of your country?
[Gromyko turns to talk to his associates, he turns back to the pope]
Andrei Gromyko: From the earliest days, the Soviet state has guaranteed freedom of religious belief.
Pope John Paul II: That is more or less what they thought.

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz: In the next thirty days, you have twenty nine separate speaking engagements.
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: And you've emphasized how you must finish your first and second one.
Pope John Paul II: Nevertheless. The mission of the church is to implement the precepts of Vatican II.
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: But I implore, your Holiness. Could we start implementing it somewhere other than Mexico?
Pope John Paul II: Perhaps Poland.
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: [pause] Anywhere but Mexico and Poland.
Pope John Paul II: Mexico is constitutionally anticlerical. For one hundred years priests and nuns have not been allowed to wear their robes and habits in public. Can you imagine? In Mexico, the church does not exist... [accidentally knocks off a piece of cheese from his plate. He goes down to pick it up while his aide tries to get it for him] In Puebla, in January. The Latin American bishop's conference is taking place. We should send someone, don't you think?
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: Yes, Holiness. But that someone does not have to be you.
Pope John Paul II: But it could be.
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: Well, may I remind, your Holiness, [the pope puts the piece cheese back onto his plate] that the Holy See does not have relations with Mexico and may I make one other point: We have not been invited.
Pope John Paul II: My dear Casaroli. You're a man of great wisdom and imagination.
[the pope's aide, who is standing behind, nervous that the pope will knock the piece of cheese off his plate again, quickly grabs the cheese from his plate]
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: Well, I imagine that we could avoid the problem entirely if you went as a private citizen.
Pope John Paul II: [looking around the table] Did you see my cheese?

Pope John Paul II: Friendship is one of God's greatest gifts. A rare place where the truth is spoken.
Roman: Then you and I must speak just the way we used to. Plain and simple.
Pope John Paul II: Plain and simple?
Roman: All right. Well like, I have many friends in Jerusalem who ask "when will you recognise the states of Israel?"
Pope John Paul II: Plain and simple.
Roman: Forgive me, Karol. I know, sometimes I can be a little appraisive--
Pope John Paul II: [stops Roman] That day, when you stood on the back of the Nazi truck, a gun at your back. [tearfully] You gave me the gift of your courage, and I will never forget it.
[they embrace]

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz: Please excuse us, Holiness. The news is something you will be pleased to hear.
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: From Warsaw. You're pilgrimage to Poland has been approved.

[arriving in Warsaw, Poland]
Pope John Paul II: Your advice?
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: You're a pope who cannot help his nature. You will tell the truth, and I will support you.
[Cardinal Wyszyński walks up the platform, embraces the pope and kisses his hand]
Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński: Welcome home, Father Karol. Holiness, your people are in the streets waiting to greet you.

Pope John Paul II: [to Stanislaw] The American's want to know if the Vatican has a secure line. A secure line, what is - what is that?
[Dziwisz shrugs, meaning he has no idea]

Pope John Paul II: My primary task is to lead the church into a new millennium. A world without war, a world of greater social justice. A world where Christian's are unified, and to help me accomplish this. My dear friend, Cardinal Ratzinger. I wish to appoint you Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: Holiness, I am deeply honoured. But I have many commitments in Germany.
Pope John Paul II: You know my fondness for Poland. How much I wish to remain in Kraków. But sometimes God calls us to faraway places.

Pope John Paul II: [on President Reagan] And so, we decided to work together, to do our best to make that dream come true.
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: And part of that dream is Poland.
Pope John Paul II: [pause] I must return.
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: In these times, Holiness, that can be difficult. Perhaps unwise.
Pope John Paul II: The Communists have imposed Martial law, while less is rested. I must go back to keep the dialogue open! To prevent bloodshed!
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: We care about your blood! There are unconfirmed reports that the man who shot you, was hired by the Communist party of Bulgaria.
Pope John Paul II: [stops Casaroli, pause] I must speak with Wałęsa.
Agostino Cardinal Casaroli: [sighs] I will arrange it, Holiness. But it will be unofficial. [smiles]
Pope John Paul II: [smiles] Thank you very much. [laughs]

Lech Wałęsa: I don't know what to do.
Pope John Paul II: You must fight. You must call by name: what is good, what is evil. And you must fight for your freedom.
Lech Wałęsa: Do they think you'd say something like that?
Pope John Paul II: You must be tough. You must be very tough. But you cannot hate and you must not kill.
Lech Wałęsa: [pause] We all have such anger for these Communists. They have hurt so many friends, ruined families.
Pope John Paul II: I know. I also know with God's love, one day this will end and then we must find ways to forgive. [pause] Forgiveness is God's might.

Pope John Paul II: [seated, frail, looking out at the view of the mountains] Stanislaw, Stanislaw. [Dziwisz walks over to him. He points] Do you remember?
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz: Yes, Holiness. Yes, I do.

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz: Do you feel up to it?
Pope John Paul II: [sickly] I must.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz: If you don't, they will understand.
Pope John Paul II: I will speak to them.
[Dziwisz holds his hand]

Roman: Uncle Karol.
Pope John Paul II: [sickly] I am too old to be an uncle.
Roman: God bless you for all you have done on this earth.

Quotes about Pope John Paul II (miniseries) edit

  • I believe this film constitutes the latest example of the love that the people had for Pope Wojtyla and their desire to remember him, to see him again and to feel him close.
  • Watching this film has renewed in me a sense of profound gratitude to God for having given the Church and the world a Pope of such an exalted human and spiritual nature.
  • Writer-director John Kent Harrison wisely finds a narrative focus... as the pope stares down the unraveling Soviets hoping to help free his native Poland. More than anything, Voight's performance... taps into John Paul's emotional life... it's a remarkable performance.
  • It was wonderful to understand enough about those areas to be able to put a focus on them — protecting his sense of humor, protecting his emotional presence, his toughness.
  • When you have a person who's the most recorded person in history, you have a lot of information coming at you, and it's him-not people talking about him, but him. You can look at his behavior, feel his emotion, see how he touches people, hear his own words in your language, because he spoke so many languages. It's a treasury that's a tremendous gift for all of us. I'm thinking, with all this available, why do we need a fictionalized portrait? But I found that interpreting him was a great joy for me, and I felt we did bring some things to the table that made it a responsible contribution.
  • He was always on the go; he didn’t want to miss out on anything. Every person he came into contact with was a gift, and with that gift came something to be given, something to be received, something to learn.
  • It has created an urgency in me, to communicate his most important lesson: We are all different, but we are all going to the same place. We are all going to God. And we must never discriminate against any one faith.

Taglines edit

  • Based on the powerful true story.
  • The faith to inspire millions begins with the power of one.
  • As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.

Cast edit

External links edit