Filmed over the course of the fifth year of Pope Francis’s pontificate, “Inside the Vatican” provides rare behind-the-scenes access to one of the most important places in the Christian world. The special premieres Tuesday, Apr. 28 at 8 p.m.
WATCH: Inside the Vatican
Nestled in the city of Rome, the Vatican is the headquarters of the Catholic Church and an independent city-state. From the Pope himself to the head of security, the nuns who serve the homeless, the choristers of the Sistine Chapel, the papal gardener, the chief of the diplomatic corps and many others, the film offers an inside look into the daily lives of those who live and work in the Vatican.
Although the church calendar unfolds much as it has for centuries, it is also a time of dramatic change as the Pope introduces reforms, shakes up the clerical establishment and deals with the fallout of a sex abuse scandal that erupts just as he embarks on a historic visit to Ireland.
At the heart of the Vatican is St. Peter’s Basilica. As Easter draws nearer, the Sanpietrini, skilled craftsmen responsible for its upkeep, are hard at work. For the Sanpietrini, this is not a routine job, but a vocation, a belief echoed by many Vatican workers.
A reformer at heart, Pope Francis has changed the Church in ways both big and small. He has challenged attitudes on divorce and homosexuality and is not shy about confronting opponents. Critics question whether he should speak out on subjects such as immigration or climate change, but, leading by example, he has even set up a recycling center inside the Vatican.
One of the most essential tools of reform the Pope possesses is his power to appoint new cardinals, who will elect the new Pope at the next conclave. Breaking with tradition, Pope Francis appoints 14 new cardinals – not only from the centers of power in Europe and North America, but from countries such as Iraq, Madagascar and Pakistan.