Producers of the film "Beyond the Sun" had issued a news release Monday saying the Pope would play himself. The Vatican quickly quashed the claim, saying that the Pope was never filmed "for purpose," although he did not rule out extant video clips incorporated into the movie.
But could there be more to the Vatican denial? A double meaning, perhaps? The internet has carried persistent reports that actor Jonathan Pryce was playing a "Pope Francis character." As also reported Monday by SCB News, Pryce is quoted as saying, "We've got actors standing in line for this," meaning meetings with the Francis character.
Wednesday, Pope Francis met with Shakespeare in Love star, Joseph Fiennes. Presumably, Fiennes was seeking publicity for his new Bible pic, Risen, an account of a Roman leader's manhunt for Jesus after reports of his resurrection circulate. (Opens in theaters February 18.)
Pope Francis Receives Book on Defeat of Papal Fleet by Muslims
Wednesday, the Holy Father was presented a book entitled, "La Squadra Pontificia ai Dardanelli 1657." It is about the defeat of the Papal flotilla that participated in the sea battle that resulted in the loss of Crete to the Ottomans. The Venetians maintained a toe-hold until 1715.
Crete was finally liberated from Ottoman rule in 1898 after the Greco-Turkish War. (It is a charming place to visit. Now.)
It is not known if Pope Francis will present Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan with a book on The Battle of Lepanto 1571.
Vatican Radio quoted Pope Francis' statement during his visit to the Central African Republic: "Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters... together we must say no to hatred, no to revenge, and no to violence, particularly that violence that is perpetrated in the name of a religion or God himself."