Written by Paolo Sorrentino and Tony Grisoni
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino
Nine months into Pius XIII's tenure, Voiello discusses the distressing state of the church’s finances, and attributes the decline to Lenny’s unpopular decisions. The pope does not seem to care.
In Honduras, Cardinal Dussolier makes love to a young man and a woman. He gives a heartfelt farewell to his parishioners before he heads back to Rome to fulfill his new responsibilities.
Esther gives birth to a baby boy, whom she names Pius after the pope. Lenny visits her at the hospital and presents her with Thomas Jefferson’s Bible, pointedly noting it was never opened. Nervously holding his namesake, Lenny tells Peter the baby looks like his mother. As he loses himself in a memory of his parents, Lenny drops the infant, but Peter swiftly catches him.
The Italian prime minister pays the pope a visit to discuss his demands. The prime minister laughs them off; Pius' radicalism has only paved the way for the prime minister to modernize Italy. Aware that many Italians still identify themselves as Catholic, the pope counters with a threat to wield his own power by enforcing a mandate of “non expedit,” to stop them from voting in the next election. His argument unsettles the prime minister.
Lenny tells Voiello of a new measure he has been working on, forbidding priests taking confession from absolving women who’ve had abortions. Voiello warns him of the potential backlash, but the pope doesn’t seem to care.
“I’m ready to wage a war without end against you.” - Lenny Belardo
Lenny threatens a group of monks who ask for his resignation. He tells them their order will be living on the streets if they dare move against him.
A police captain questions Voiello about Tonino Pettola, now missing. The captain mentions Pettola spoke of a visit from the pope and his cardinals, and Voiello laughs off the idea. Informed that records show calls were made to Pettola from his office and the pope’s, Voiello has a tidy explanation for everything.
A wealthy woman interrupts Dussolier’s dinner and invites him to a party at her estate. As the cardinal resumes his meal, a young man who was rejected for the priesthood tosses wine on him, protesting he is not a homosexual and only wanted to serve God: “You murdered my dream.” The young man bolts and Dussolier tracks his down. Consoling him, Dussolier agrees the young man could have been an excellent priest.
Sister Mary tells a distraught Dussolier she was also an orphan, but Lenny cannot know because she won’t “interfere with his sorrow.” Outside, the young man whom Dussolier consoled scales the roof of Saint Peter’s and jumps off.