For those unfamiliar with the story, Pope Trek tells the adventures of Captain Francis, as he travels round the universe encountering strange new life-forms and boldly going where no man has gone before.
"Pope's log, Stardate 2016."
Captain Francis is ably assisted by his Press Officer, the Vulcan Greg Burke (replacing Federico Lombardi), whose job it is to find some Logic in the Captain's utterances. There is also an army of "red shirt" officers, whose main role is to stand in the firing line and soak up attacks.
A group of red shirts, waiting to be zapped.
Pope Trek has developed its own range of catch phrases, which its fans love to recite. "We're showing mercy - shoot to kill!" is one; "The Church of England's attacking - there are An-Klingons on the starboard bow" another; "Damnit, Captain, I'm a Jesuit, not a religious man!"; "The Synod's broken down - ye cannae change the laws of Catholicism!"; and so on.
In "The Rosica block", Captain Francis encounters a strange new life-form.
Pope Trek has been praised for its highly original plots, full of surprises, in which one never knows what the crew will get up to next. Says one of the actors in it, red-shirted Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), "My favourite episode was the one where all logic said that we should head east (Ad Orientem), but I kept insisting that this was too dangerous."
"Don't move, Captain, this phaser is the most dangerous weapon you've ever seen."
Jorge Bergoglio, the actor who plays Captain Francis, said today that he was pleased with the popularity of Pope Trek, and sometimes he felt that it was "almost real".