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Mark Rylance to play the Holy Father (Pope Pius IX) in New film

An Oscar-winning actor Mark Rylance is to play as Pope Pius IX in a new movie which is based on a true story which became an international scandal and led to intense criticism of the Church and the papacy.

The film tells the story of a Jewish boy in Italy in 1858 who is taken from his parents, raised Catholic and then becomes a priest.

Tony Kushner, scriptwriter of the award-winning film Lincoln, will write the screenplay.

The movie’s name is “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara” which is expected to go into production at the start of 2017 and the filming will begin this summer. Mortara was taken from his family home in Bologna because a servant in his household said she had baptised him when he was seriously ill.

He grew up as a Catholic under the protection of Pope Pius IX, who reportedly refused to return him to his parents despite their protestations.

Mortara subsequently became a priest in the Augustinian order.


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