Pope Francis suffers setbacks in his Ukraine diplomacy, and two movies offer views of saints and sinners in drama and satire. Walter Ratliff has this week's Religion Roundup


In this week's religion roundup Pope Francis suffers setbacks in his Ukraine diplomacy and two movies offer views of saints and sinners in drama and satire The Vatican's Russia Ukraine diplomacy suffered two setbacks this week when the head of the Russian Orthodox Church canceled a plan meeting with Pope Francis and Ukraine complained about Francis latest comments about the war Ukraine officials criticized the Pope's remarks about the car bomb death of a nationalist Russian TV commentator and daughter of a right-wing political theorist A director who made his name with Gritty exploitation films of the 1980s and 90s is paying homage to one of Italy's best known and most revered saints in his newest movie padre pio Can be truly free and happy If not in the respect of all humanity Leave my land No The drama by Abel Ferrara stars Shia LaBeouf as the mystic capuchin monk during a historic moment after World War I Ferrara credits sobriety with his new direction in filmmaking So once we kick the drugs in the alcohol you know you started seeing a different way of living you know in different life Padre pio was canonized in 2002 by Pope John Paul the second going on to become one of the Catholic Church's most popular saints The film premieres at the Venice Film Festival next week Another film takes a satirical look at a scandal ridden mega church offering both comedy and commentary Honk if you love Jesus save your soul follows a pastor and his wife as they attempt to rebuild their congregation after his scandal hits their megachurch We need you back in that pulpit So you can get me back on that stage Regina Taylor who stars in the film says it explores some relevant themes I think it's just that that time in our society where people are open to the church evolving some of the things that it has believed before Honk if you love Jesus reaches theaters and the peacock streaming service on September 2nd I'm Walter ratliff

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