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
This is an interesting drama built on some questionable premises: 1. That many priests are HIV positive, and 2. That a good student would be summarily expelled from seminary because he visited another seminarian's room alone in the early evening. Premise #1 seems to me unlikely, especially in the United States, but in Ireland...who knows?
Premise #2 is the situation which sets this drama in motion, but it is almost unbelievable that this seminary would expel a student for possible but unproven sexual misconduct, when the whole culture of the seminary was to keep any such conduct, real or imagined, deeply buried in secrecy.
That said, the problem of clerical celibacy in the Catholic Church is explored and handled well. The actors are all credible and the film moves swiftly toward the final confrontation scene when all the secret sins are exposed. Then the film is suddenly over, leaving many unexplained plot strands dangling and unresolved.
Luckily the DVD contains sub-titles in English. You will need them to understand the swiftly-paced Irish brogue employed by the cast.
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