Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Film Recommendation of the Week...

Release date March 17, 1995.
Running time 1 hour 45 minutes.

Very controversial movie when it came out, and just as timely today as when it was initially released 15 years ago. Many intertwining issues going on that have challenged the Catholic Church for the last 30 or so years. Here is the synopsis from Wikipedia-

"Father Greg Pilkington, newly assigned to St. Mary's parish in inner-city Liverpool, is startled to discover Father Matthew Thomas is engaged in a sexual relationship with rectory housekeeper Maria Kerrigan. Moreover, Father Thomas is a left-wing radical and an outspoken proponent of Liberation Theology, leading his to constant clashes and bickering with the Bishop—who nevertheless appreciates his abilities.

While the young protagonist's personal traditional conservatism and religious beliefs are offended by the older priest's blatant disregard for his vow of celibacy, he struggles with his own homosexual urges, especially after he meets Graham at a local gay hangout and the two embark on a physical relationship.

Meanwhile, student Lisa Unsworth has confided she is the victim of sexual abuse by her father, who confirms her story, but both have revealed their secret in the confessional, and Father Greg is required to honor the sanctity of the Sacrament of Penance and not reveal what he has been told, despite the fact the girl is suffering emotionally and physically. He tries to warn her mother to keep a close watch on her, but the naive woman believes her daughter is safe while in the care of her husband.

When Mrs. Unsworth discovers her husband molesting Lisa and realizes the priest knew what was happening, she verbally lashes out at him. Adding to his torment is his arrest for engaging in sexual activity with Graham in a parked car. When he pleads guilty to the charge, the story is headlined on the front page of the local newspaper and, unable to face his parishioners,

Father Greg relocates to a remote rural parish headed by a disapproving and unforgiving priest. Father Matthew convinces him to return to St. Mary's, and the two preside over a Mass that is disrupted by the loud protests of those opposed to Father Greg's presence on the altar. Father Matthew demands they leave the chapel.

The two priests then begin to distribute the Eucharist, but the remaining parishioners ignore Father Greg and line up to receive communion from Father Matthew. Lisa finally approaches the younger priest, and the two fall into each other's arms sobbing."

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