Pope Benedict and The Chosen

Culture Columnist

It’s said that Pope Benedict’s favorite TV program was Kommissar Rex—a 1990’s German series about a police dog who each week helps solve perplexing crimes.

But I’d bet that, if he’d been able to watch it, the late Pope would have been intrigued and delighted by The Chosen – Season 3, now streaming worldwide.

After all, Benedict himself wrote a trilogy of readable, understandable books on the life of Jesus of Nazareth: “From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration” (2007); “From Palm Sunday to the Resurrection” (2011); and “The Infancy Narratives” (2012).

And he also wrote about each of “The Apostles” (2007).

Somewhat like Benedict, the writers of The Chosen have for three years now presented the life of Christ, as seen through the eyes of His followers. The series has become a “global phenomenon” because it brings to life the relationships between Christ and the Twelve. And the women followers, too, play a large role – as Pope Benedict described them: “The many female figures who played an effective and precious role in the Gospel … Their testimony cannot be forgotten.”

Watch all the disciples with their different backgrounds—Simon Peter, Andrew, John, “big James” and “little James”, Matthew, Mary Magdalene, Veronica, and of course, Mother Mary, along with the others—walk the path with Christ as their very human stories play out.

What fascinating stories!

Pope Benedict wrote about Christ and the disciples to show us that the Gospel is not just a symbolic book about a mythical faith — but is the real story of God made man among us.

And in Season 3, the story of Christ and the accompanying stories of His “Chosen” ones—emotional, playful, complicated, simple, tearful and joyful—become “word made flesh”.

That’s the goal of faith-filled artists … and great theologian popes.

(“The Chosen” is available on YouTube and at “The Chosen” app —and other streaming services.)