What image comes up to your mind when you hear the term the Devil’s advocate? How about a chain-smoking, swearing Catholic priest, named Jude? That’s exactly what Rob Lowe plays in the new comedy “You, Me and the Apocalypse”.
I am grateful for the show that it introduces and explains the historical origin of the term “Devil’s Advocate” to the masses but I wish it would have been more precise. Here is the one thing that wasn’t fully accurate: The office of the “Promoter of the Faith”, i.e. “promotor fidei”(, which in common language is known as the Devil’s Advocate) was not abolished by Pope John Paul II in 1983. Therefore it couldn’t have been reinstated now as the show suggests. The other important elements that was said about it was true though:
- The term indeed refers to the lawyer, whose role is to be skeptical during the canonization process in the Catholic church and try to disprove that the person in question was a saint, i.e. thoroughly good and performed miracles.
- It is also a fact that Pope John Paul changed the process in 1983 in a way that resulted in many more beautification.
If you really want to dig into this I recommend John Thavis The Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age. Meanwhile I recommend the show to see how the young nun, who becomes the researcher for Devil’s Advocate, does her job.
Summary from IMDB: When a group of ordinary people learn that an eight-mile wide comet is on a collision course with Earth, they hunker beneath the town of Slough to watch the end of the world on television.