Pius XIII (Jude Law) is in a coma. And after an unpredictable and mysterious turn of events, the Secretary of State Voiello succeeds in the enterprise of having Sir John Brannox (John Malkovich), a moderate English aristocrat, charming and sophisticated, placed on the papal throne adopting the name John Paul III. The new pope seems perfect, but he conceals secrets and a certain fragility. And he immediately understands that it will not be easy to replace the charismatic Pius XIII: hanging between life and death, Lenny Belardo has become a Saint and thousands of faithful are now idolizing him, fueling the contrast between fundamentalisms. Meanwhile, the Church is under attack from several scandals that risk devastating the hierarchies irreversibly and from external threats striking the symbols of Christianity. As always, however, in the Vatican nothing is what it seems.