Synopsis by Mark Deming
A priest discovers that being the leader of the Catholic Church can be hazardous to your health in this satiric comedy. Cardinal Rocco (Alex Rocco) and Monsignor Vitchie (Paul Bartel) are two high-ranking Vatican officials who have been using the church's business dealings to launder funds for Vittorio Corelli (Herbert Lom), a crime boss involved in illegal arms trading. After the death of the aging and infirm Pope, Rocco and Vitchie plan to nominate a successor who will go along with Corelli's schemes, but quite by accident, small town priest Giuseppe Albinizi (Robbie Coltrane) is named the new Pontiff. Albinizi is a reluctant spiritual leader who prefers cars, women, and rock & roll to church business, but when he discovers the level of Rocco's corruption, he has him removed from the Vatican. Rocco and Vitchie are not taking Albinizi's plans to clean up Vatican finances lying down, and they discover that the new Pope's has a not-so-little secret. Before he joined the priesthood, Albinizi fathered a son out of wedlock with Veronica Dante (Beverly D'Angelo); the boy grew up to be Joe Don Dante (Balthazar Getty), a rock star who's romancing Corelli's daughter. After complaints from Catholic groups in the U.S., the distributors of The Pope Must Die changed the title to The Pope Must Diet.
leader, assassination, bumbler, con/scam, gangster, jealousy, loot, misfit, mistaken-identity, misunderstanding, Pope, priest, religion, role-switching, Vatican