Footage depicting Pope Francis lovingly calling the bottle of Scotch whisky in his hand “the real holy water” has been censored by the Vatican from an upcoming BBC documentary. The Patrón saint of the Catholic Church reportedly received the bottle of Oban malt as a gift from Scottish seminaries, who were studying biblical rye-tings in Rome.
Director of Priest School Tony Kearney revealed that the Vatican’s media office completely cut the scene during review as “they didn’t want the Pope to be seen to be endorsing whisky.”
Pope Francis has named Scotch whiskey “the real holy water.” In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
According to Kearney, the Pope was “really down to Earth with them all” and his banter with the students distilled any nerves they had before meeting him. “When they handed him the bottle, instead of just handing it to his assistant as he normally would with a gift, he held it up and said ‘questa e la vera acqua santa’ – which means this is the real holy water.”
“He guffawed with laughter…and put everyone at ease.”
The Vatican, however, weren’t beaming about the Pope’s off-the-cuff remark, and thought that the footage may set a whisky precedent for his malt-itudes of followers.
“But we’d agreed that the Vatican’s media office would be allowed to approve all of our footage before we broadcast it,” Kearney explained. “So we sent them the files and when they sent it back that bit of him saying that was cut out. We were really annoyed at first.”
Kearney’s one-hour documentary was smashed out over the course of 18-months and depicts the lives of Scottish priests-in-training throughout Rome. Despite this clip only briefly appearing in the film, the Vatican still had to give the entire film a good hammering to ensure all loose ends were plastered up.