In another scene, late in the evening, Pope Benedict sits at his piano trying to think of something appropriate to play for his guest. Suddenly he asks: “Do you know the Beatles?”

“Yes, I know who they are,” Bergoglio responds. “Eleanor Rigby?”

“Who?” Pope Benedict asks, “I don’t know her.”

This is harmless in its way. But for what it is worth (not much), it is untrue that Pope Benedict is ignorant of pop music, as intimated on several occasions by the script. In fact, he knows a great deal about the music, possibly from hearing it for many years blaring in every café in Rome. He just doesn’t like it. It concerned him that, as he said in his address to the International Church Music Congress in Rome in November 1985, such music “lowers the barriers of individuality and of personality,” “repealing the limits of the everyday,” creating the illusion of “liberation from the ego.” These are not the words of a man who has never heard of ABBA, who does not “know” Eleanor Rigby.

The Church-politics premises of the movie are the jaw-numbingly predictable ones: The Church as represented by Ratzinger / Benedict is “out of touch with the modern world” and this is a bad thing; Bergoglio’s professed desire to bring the Church “into the 21st century” is self-evidently noble and righteous.

Everything about The Two Popes is designed to promote an agenda that has nothing to do with Catholicism / Christianity, and everything to do with purveying a bogus notion of freedom in the public realm. The word “reforms” is used as though its virtue were self-evident and unassailable. “The Church votes to make overdue reforms remain overdue,” Bergoglio accuses. The audience is expected to recognize this proposition and nod in agreement. But there is nothing to guide anyone toward a true understanding of the implications. … Everything is grist to the mill of the agenda. … .