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Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican since 1850
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‘A Divine Plot’
We publish here Pope Francis’ foreword to the volume by our editor, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SJ, Una trama divina. Gesù in Controcampo [A Divine Plot. Jesus in Reverse Angle] (Venezia, Marsilio, 2023). The pope’s text closes with an appeal to artists. The first to respond was the film director, Martin Scorsese. He did so by writing an original screenplay of a film about Jesus. We publish it below in its original English. At the end, Fr. Spadaro outlines the background of this original response.

To his contemporaries, Jesus would have seemed to be inadaptado, someone who does not fit in, a misfit, one who saw things in his own way. It is enough to read in the Gospels how people reacted to his gestures. In Mark we see that “his family went out to restrain him, for people were saying ‘He has gone out of his mind’.” Some openly declared, as Matthew tells us, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” At times Jesus reacts harshly, indignantly: he upended the tables of the Temple merchants, for example. He does not fit in; he does not conform.

As we follow Jesus on his journey, we see that he abandons Nazareth, his “homeland.” He protests against those who feel so included that they exclude others, against those who think they see so clearly that they have become blind, those who are so self-sufficient in administering the law that they have become wicked.
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