What Made Pope Francis Swear Off TV Forever?

Pope Francis greets the crowd before his general audience in the Vatican (Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images).

Pope Francis greets the crowd before his general audience in the Vatican (Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images).

In a widely shared interview with Argentine newspaper La Voz del Pueblo, Pope Francis discussed…some Pope stuff. I’m not sure, really. That’s not exactly in my wheelhouse. No, but the one piece of information I DID glean from the interview is this — Pope Francis swore to the Virgin del Carmen on July 15, 1990 to never watch TV again. In his words,  “I said this is not for me.”

Now, some people might say that’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for a man who one day would be Pope to stop watching television altogether. I am not those people. That is such a specific date that something must have happened — something BIG — to send future-Pope away from television. It must have been something incredibly traumatic.

We have some theories:

  • Maybe, just maybe he was a huge fan of English actress Allison Legatt, who you may know but possibly don’t as Lady Backstrom in Backs to the Land or the Duchess of Kent in Edward the King. Maybe after Ms. Legatt passed away on July 15, 1990, Pope Francis just decided there would never be an actress to match her like again.
  • Or maybe he was a die-hard fan of golfer Patty Sheehan, and couldn’t take the soul-crushing experience of watching her take runner-up to Betsy King in the US Women’s Open on July 15, 1990.
  • There’s a possibility it took a full three days for him to realize how much he hated the pilot of Northern Exposure. Hated it enough to stop watching TV forever. 
  • There’s ALSO a possibility it took a full SEVEN days to realize there would never be another show like Mr. Belvedere.
  • Possibly, no, most likely of all he noticed that Turtle Power by rap duo Partners in Kryme (sic) from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was #1 on the UK Singles Charts on July 15, 1990, and said to himself “Sigh. Maybe I should just become the Pope.”
  • (Ed note: Maybe he’s just watching Modern Family on his computer, like everyone else who claims they don’t “own a TV.”)

All true history facts, all viable options. Maybe we’ll never know.

Bonus – What show from after 1990 do you think would be the worst to spoil for the Pope? Do you think he’d be upset about the ending of Twin Peaks? I can’t really see him being a huge Game of Thrones fan. Maybe House of Cards? Yeah, let’s go with House of Cards.

What Made Pope Francis Swear Off TV Forever?