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Pilgrimage Moments: A Gay Man Talks to the Pope

Length - 07:32
Published - Mar 2024
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

This clip comes from the BBC series: Pilgrimage – The Road to Rome.

The Pilgrims have reached the end of the Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrimage route which finishes in Rome. Thousands of people have gathered in St. Peter’s Square to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis, but the Pilgrims have been granted a private audience with him, and the chance to ask the spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholics a question. Stephen takes the opportunity to explain that he’d come on the Pilgrimage looking for answers and faith, but that – as a gay man – he’d never felt accepted by religion, and still doesn’t. Then the Pope responds in a way that no one expected…

 Watch full episodes on BBC iPlayer.

A gay man talks to the Pope - SERIES 2 - Pilgrimage Moments Clip

S1 00:00:25:07

It's early Wednesday morning in Saint Peter's Square. The day of

the week when thousands gather to listen to the Pope.

S2 00:00:33:04

It is packed with people. This is like a concert of a top celebrity,

but magnified when you see this many people all to meet this

man, you realise the significance of what we're about to do.

We're about to go and meet this man. This is obviously a massive,

massive deal.

S1 00:00:51:17

Elected six years ago, Pope Francis is known for his humility and

humour. The spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholics, he's

gained a reputation for bringing change to the church and for his

attempts to make the institution more tolerant and inclusive.

S3 00:01:13:08

At the end of this two weeks of extraordinary pilgrimage, I'm

going to be with the big man himself.

S4 00:01:23:03

I'm actually quite amazed that there's been space made to meet

this privately. I think we're all kind of taken aback at that. So of

course it is an honor.

S5 00:01:40:22

It is just my average normal day. Meeting the Pope as you do.

S1 00:01:47:24

It's very interesting that we've just done the veer and he's very

much a believer in the veer. So it's it's nice to have it sort of I

suppose we are. We're being blessed because we've been on the

veer. I don't know.

Clip: A gay man talks to the Pope - SERIES 2 - Pilgrimage Moments Clip 2 / 4

S5 00:02:00:09

I am feeling hugely apprehensive about this meeting. I know

millions of Catholics around the world would give their right

hand to be in this position, so I don't want to blow it. So I've got

to be respectful, listen to other people's views and express my

own opinions. Otherwise I'll not be true to myself.

S1 00:02:23:15

While the vast crowd gathers and waits in Saint Peter's Square,

the pilgrims file inside for their private audience with Pope

Francis.

S6 00:02:45:11

Steven K Amos.

S3 00:02:47:24

I'm an actress. I'm 72.

S8 00:02:53:00

You don't seem to be 72.

S3 00:02:54:14

I know I don't do, I.

S4 00:03:00:13

At this difficult time for our church. We we long for truth. And we

know what is very difficult. And pray for you each day.

S6 00:03:24:19

Your holiness. I'm Les Dennis. My mother would be thrilled to

know I had held your hand.

S1 00:03:58:00

Incredibly, Stephen gets a chance to ask a question to the man

who matters most.

Clip: A gay man talks to the Pope - SERIES 2 - Pilgrimage Moments Clip 3 / 4

S10 00:04:04:17

I lost my mother three months ago. I buried my twin sister, who

were both very religious. So me coming on this pilgrimage, being

non-religious. I was looking for answers and faith. But as a gay

man, I don't feel accepted.

S6 00:05:48:03

Thank you. It was amazingly powerful, I think, for all of us. He

gave us so much time. He didn't dodge anything. That's what I

found was extraordinary.

S2 00:06:09:00

That was an absolutely fantastic experience. I think no one

expected it to be quite as emotional.

S6 00:06:17:12

I didn't know what I was going to say then.

S2 00:06:19:13

My mother would have loved to shake your hand and that was

that was lovely because she would've.

S11 00:06:23:22

It didn't really feel like, oh, this is the Pope. He felt like he felt

like a real person.

S6 00:06:29:18

You bless the Pope, Brendan blessed the Pope.

S3 00:06:31:14

I feel like we missed a trick there. We actually said bless you to

the Pope.

S1 00:06:37:00

He had a lovely warmth about him, a lovely energy about him.

Clip: A gay man talks to the Pope - SERIES 2 - Pilgrimage Moments Clip 4 / 4

S2 00:06:38:23

And he just said that.

S8 00:06:39:20

Yeah, he's the Pope. He'd have to, otherwise.

S1 00:06:41:24

He wouldn't be in this position. He's got to have something

special about him.

S12 00:06:50:06

It felt like a pressure cooker of emotion. And then when Steven

asked his question, I just felt myself going to bits.

S5 00:06:57:13

He used an amazing phrase. He said, adjectives that are used to

describe people are meaningless because every human has his

own dignity. And that is when I lost it. And to be frank, his candid

and honest response blew my mind. That's what I've been

searching for for a long time. Um.

S13 00:07:22:18

Yeah.

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