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Did Pope Francis Just Give Us an Idea for Fleabag Season 3?

Andrew Scott as the Priest in Fleabag.

Recently, Pope Francis talked about opening up the discussion on letting Catholic priest marry. Now, this is just the idea of starting to let this dialogue happen, but it was enough to get Andrew Scott talking. The Fleabag star was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to talk about his new show Modern Love. He also discussed growing up Catholic and how he might have viewed the idea of becoming a priest differently if it didn’t come with the inability to get married– a restriction that played a huge role in the second season of Fleabag, informing the whole relationship between Fleabag and Scott’s “Hot Priest.”

Scott, who talked about growing up in a very Catholic area of Ireland related to Colbert, admitted to maybe looking into becoming a priest had the rules about marriage not existed. (Colbert said he felt similarly.) He makes a good point about his generation and their connection with spirituality but the problems that stem from the strict rules that are forced upon priests in the Catholic church. So (for that reason along with a whole host of other serious issues) it isn’t surprising that there are not that many lining up to become a priest these days. But then came the Hot Priest and threw everything we thought about Catholicism out the window.

Now, Phoebe Waller-Bridge has unequivocally stated that the show will not have a third season–at least not any time soon, saying maybe she’d revisit it when she’s in her fifties.

But hypothetically speaking, if the show were to have a third season, and if this talk of allowing priests to have romantic relationships and get married continues, it would be great subject matter for the show moving forward.

With the Hot Priest able to marry, maybe he and Fleabag could revisit their relationship together after having been kept apart for so long. I don’t know, maybe I just want more Fleabag in my life so I’m willing to justify it in any way.

Beyond potential Fleabag excitement, this conversation shines a light on some real issues within the Catholic church, not the least of which is its stance on LGBTQ+ communities. Pope Francis has been deemed by many to be the “cool Pope,” in part because he’s said some things that make him seem drastically less aggressively anti-LGBTQ than his predecessors. But he’s not exactly an ally. (He’s said some relatively progressive things about LGBTQ parishioners and clerics and repeatedly called for inclusion, but he’s also talked about a “war of marriage” and has said that gay men in the priesthood is “something that worries me.”) If the church opens the door to allowing priests to marry, it does not seem likely that that privilege would extend to same-sex marriage.

These small instances of change just show how far the Catholic church still has to go. And yes, it’s fun to think that the Hot Priest is helping change the way the church views marriages and relationships for their priests but there are a lot of other issues to tackle within that structure as well.

(image: Amazon Prime)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.