Five Life Lessons The New Pope Teaches Us

New Pope

There is nothing as fulfilling as sitting in front of a television screen to watch some intense drama unfold. This is the feeling you get when you watch drama shows, with many taking over television programming. One show that will have you on the edge of your seat as you follow its suspense-filled storyline is The New Pope. It airs on Sky Atlantic and HBO and made its premiere in early January 2020. It is a continuation of the Young Pope, the 2016 series, and focuses on papal life in the Vatican. The series touches on the politics surrounding the delicate role of papacy after Pius XIII goes into a coma, and an English aristocrat comes over to take over from him per Sky Atlantic’s site. What follows is drama as we get a hint of what happens on the top reigns of one of the world’s most-followed religious organizations, the Catholic Church. Let us look at some of the vital lessons we derive from this drama series.

1. Leadership is Very Fragile

The topic of leadership, in a way, touches the boundaries of power and fragility, as we can see from the role Sir John Brannox assumes. While he seems to have all the qualities required to assume the role of the papacy, he still has some weaknesses that can work against him. With him in charge of the Catholic Church, he needs to come up with concrete decisions to help run its affairs. He, first of all, lacks the charisma associated with his predecessor, and this challenges him to a great extent. A lesson we can get from the show touches on power and how we handle leadership positions. Not everyone is cut to be a leader, no matter how much effort and resources you put to back you up.

2. Charisma is an Essential Element Of Leadership

Another lesson we can deduce from this show is the importance of appeal when it comes to leadership. Pius XIII has the charm, and it translates to many dedicated followers who stand with him even in his low moments. He is now a saint as he balances on the beam between life and death, and many church members all over the world still idolize him even in the presence of another pope. As a leader, you need to connect with your followers, and it helps with the relatability element. The aristocratic background of the succeeding pope, in a way, draws him away from his followers as few do have a point of relation to him. His element of fragility also acts as a drawback to him doing his duties as a leader of one of the most influential organizations worldwide.

3. Politics Reigns Everywhere

According to Vulture, the series unexpectedly shifts from a Christian theme to take on a political standing. The way the politics plays in the Vatican in The New Pope is fantastic and gives you the notion that politics is everywhere. Politics usually revolves around power, and in this case, the papacy is the bigger cake that everyone wants. People turn on each other and even sell their souls figuratively to have their interests sorted out. It is something you would expect in a noisy city council hall and not the Vatican. The political aspects serve to tell us that we need to know the political status of whichever entity we take part in. It can be in the workplace sector, family, and many other areas so long as leadership or any other unit of power and other similar interest are in the center.

4. Integrity Is Essential

One of the things that you may take note of in this intense storyline is how integrity is just another factor. In a setting with a lot of religious annotations, it is an expectation that the leadership should be clear without any shadiness. However, in this setting, there is a complete disregard of integrity and justness, as evident by how the new pope came to the positions. There was some underhand colluding that even draws the Secretary of State to the mix. A result of this throwing justness off the window is that several scandals start rocking the boat of the Catholic Church as some secrets come to light. The situation needs an experienced hand to get rid of the bad reputation as it may shake the entire religious belief if not handled with care.

5. The Role of Elders in the Society

In society, elders are critical in decision making and also in educating the youth. In The New Pope, we have a setting where it is the young vs. the old as presented by the case of the two popes, the incumbent and the sick one who is now a saint. The public is still fond of the preceding pope, and some still view him as the leader of the Christian organization. One role that the older generation can play is to ensure a smooth transition to the next generation in terms of skills and also essential elements such as leadership. If Pius XIII had put the right name for John Paul III, there would be a smooth transition in terms of the power shift. A mentorship role would work well for the pope to get into his part correctly.


The New Pope is a new series on television programming and is a touch of excellent storytelling, captivating dialog sequences, and a dose of suspense all rolled into one. It has various lessons to the viewer, as seen from the five picks above. It tries to bring to light the happenings in the mysterious Vatican, which is the seat of the pope and home of Catholicism. We learn of how politics is present in most aspects of our daily lives and how to appreciate or rather deal with it. You can catch the episodes of the show in HBO or Sky Atlantic to appreciate the artistry dedicated to it. Its prequel the Young Pope is a good starting point.

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