Almost Academy Award-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, looking jarringly clean, cleaner than he has looked since he dated Blake Lively, maybe, met Pope Francis in Vatican City on Thursday to teach him about the environment and art. The Associated Press has helpfully provided video footage.

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First, Leo introduced himself in Italian, which roughly translates to either “I am honored to meet someone with an equally important-sounding name, did u know that there were 13 popes named Leo?” or “I am so looking forward to working with you on an exclusive prayer to help me win an Oscar for The Revenant, which was an amazing film if you haven’t seen it yet,” or “Thank you for granting me a private audience with you.”

Then, Leo switched to whispered English to give Pope Francis a book of paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. “It was hanging above my bed as a young boy,” he told the Pope of one painting, which I assume is The Garden of Earthly Delights, although if baby Leonardo DiCaprio had Christ’s Descent Into Hell over his crib he might have won an Academy Award by now, mom and dad!

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“And as a child I didn’t understand quite what it all meant,” he continued, “But through my child’s eyes it represented our planet, the utopia that we’ve been given. And in the third panel we see a blackened sky, that represents so much to me what’s going on in the environment today. Yet in the back we have Hieronymus Bosch painting planet earth, when many thought the earth was still flat. So it represents to me the promise of the future and enlightenment.”

Pope Francis said something at the end which I don’t completely understand, and I’m pretty sure neither did Leo, but he replied “I will,” and then these great men parted, perhaps forever—Leonardo back to his Palm Springs compound, Francis back to running the Roman Catholic Church, two shining, omnipotent spirits sliding gently back into their respective orbits after a brief alliance, spinning separately now and yet somehow, still, in tandem.


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