Stephen Fermoyle has grown up in Boston at the turn of the twentieth century knowing that his destiny lies with the Catholic priesthood. Finally finishing his studies in Rome, he returns to America full of certitude and ambition to one day join the College of Cardinals. But his road to that office is a long one, paved with crises. In Boston, he must decide whether to save the life of his sister or her unborn child, conceived out of wedlock. In Austria, he confronts the question of whether to remain with the priesthood or abandon his oath so that he can be with the woman he loves. In Georgia, he contends with Rome's indifference in the face of racial bigotry. And in Austria, he finds himself personally involved in the church's dealings with the Third Reich. Written by
Shannon Patrick Sullivan <email@example.com>
All along the movie, we see, leading to St Peter's square, the Via della Conciliazione and its palazzi, built for the Holy Year of 1950, under the pontificate of Pius XII, whose election Cardinal Fermoyle is supposed to take part at the very end of the movie. See more »
A compelling story of a priest trying to fulfill his vocation in a world that sometimes conflicts with Catholic morality.
Tom Tryon is one of the better but less appreciated actors of the '50s and '60s when mature top stars were the likes of Rock Hudson. Tryon, however, is not only an excellent actor but a good writer as well with a number of books to his name just like Sterling Hayden, another almost forgotten actor of the period.
This movie should be required viewing in Moral Theology as it provides guidance on how a serious practicing Catholic should act when faced with moral dilemmas. With the current moral divide on the question of abortion, I am reminded of that crucial scene in the movie when the character portrayed by Tryon had to decide on what medical procedure to choose in the case of an emergency arising out of a childbirth gone awry. He was the nearest of kin of the woman involved and the doctors advised him that there was a choice as to whether to abort the baby (by crushing its head with forceps) or let the childbirth proceed in which case the mother's life would be compromised. In such cases, Catholic morality requires that the best effort should be made to save both infant and mother but in no case may an intervention be made to kill either one of them.
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