A can of worms is opened within the Irish Catholic Church following two controversial incidents, the suicide of Frank Sweeney, a parish priest and the expulsion of Daniel McLaughlin, a ... See full summary »
A can of worms is opened within the Irish Catholic Church following two controversial incidents, the suicide of Frank Sweeney, a parish priest and the expulsion of Daniel McLaughlin, a young trainee priest from a nearby seminary, on the grounds that he was open to the sexual advances of a male colleague. A local journalist, David Foley, is convinced that Sweeney's death and Daniel's expulsion are linked. Desperate to clear his good name and be re-instated, Daniel agrees to talk to Foley. As the story gathers momentum, the Church closes ranks. Written by
Watched this film in 2010 on DVD on a rainy Friday evening in October - so this was ideal although sombre entertainment.
The film has a reasonably fast pace, a simple story line - a little preachy in its anti-celibacy message, but overall worthwhile, although the ending is a bit implausible.
It seems somewhat unrealistic that a seminary in today's Ireland would still exist with more than half a dozen trainees, and hard to believe that with such low numbers that they would so quickly expel a trainee without evidence. The film was made in 2003 before the onslaught of the fallout of the Catholic-Church-Protects-Paedophiles scandals, and to see the movie again in the knowledge of such events gives an added frisson - "the church is killing itself from the inside" is one of the quotes from the film.
The storyline involves celibate priests that are gay - it could just as easily have portrayed priests or bishops that have one or more children
but perhaps the movie had an agenda that was more than just
anti-celibacy but also against the anti-gay homophobic nature of the roman-catholic hierarchy.
The film shows a statistic about 100,000 priests having quit because of the celibacy rule - but does'not show the numbers of priests in non-catholic Christian traditions who can marry but still leave their ministries anyway.
For a non-Irish audience some of the accents are difficult, and my DVD did not have a sub-title track for some reason.
A worthy film, if a little flawed, hope to see more from this director.
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