The eventful life of a humble Polish priest who once decried the pomp of the Catholic Church "a circus" and labeled the Pope a "prisoner of the Vatican" before ascending to the papal throne is explored as actor Thomas Kretschmann takes on the role of Pope John Paul II to the man who would usher Catholicism into the 21st century. Born in Poland and forced to carry on following the untimely death of his family, Karol Wojtyla endured both personal hardships and the rape of his homeland by the Third Reich to spread the word of God through the Catholic Church. Later, as Pope John Paul II, Wojtyla was beloved by millions of Catholics worldwide. From the sexual-abuse scandal that shook the American Catholic Church in the later-20th century to the murder of Salvatorian Archbishop Oscar Romero and the near-fatal assassination attempt made on his own life, Pope John Paul II endured to bridge the gap between various faiths until his death resulting from Parkinson's disease in April of 2005.
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