Is Lenny as conservative as he used to be?
After the events of the ninth episode, Cardinal Bernardo Gutierrez (Javier Cámara) has emerged as the true hero of the show. Besides bringing down the corrupt Archbishop Kurtwell, he's managed to stand up for himself, get a promotion, and push back against Lenny's ideological purity in profound ways. When Lenny offers Bernardo the role of personal secretary, taking over for Diane Keaton's departing Sister Mary, the Cardinal attacks the Pope for his homophobia. "How many things I accept that no one notices," sneers Lenny.
Judging from the final speech he delivers in Venice, Lenny has changed, but he's still far from the Woke Pope that was briefly shown in a dream sequence back in episode one. It's implied that the Prime Minister of Italy has implemented some of Lenny's hard-line political views because of the pressure the Vatican put on him. Even though Lenny accepts Bernardo's homosexuality and he seems to have let some love into his heart, he remains a man of contradictions. He still sticks his tongue out at children. He still takes gleeful pleasure in dismissing boring dignitaries. He's still the Young Pope, basically.