Priest

The movie Priest tells the story of a young Catholic priest sent to a church in working class Liverpool, England. When he arrives he struggles with the liberal religious views of the senior parish priest. But we soon discover that his struggle is part of a greater internal struggle – you see our newly arrived priest is gay. He tries to resist, but fails, and  starts leading a double life, on the one hand spending time with his gay friend away from the church while on the other genuinely seeking to serve his parish community. And in the middle of all this is his anguished struggle.

Towards the end of the movie he and his gay friend are caught in public and arrested – homosexuality is against the laws of the land. Once news gets out that a priest has been arrested the media gets interested and its flashed across the local newspapers in no time. The young priest is broken, driven almost to the point of nervous breakdown.

The movie ends with an enormously powerful scene. The faithful gather for mass. Everybody is aware of the young priest’s situation. When it comes time to serve communion both the young priest and the older priest stand out the front ready to serve. Everybody lines up to receive communion from the older priest. Not one person is willing to be served by the younger, gay priest. The camera pans to his face. His lips quiver, his eyes burning with hurt and rejection.

Then a young girl walks forward to receive communion from the young priest. She has been the victim of terrible abuse at the hands of her father. She knows what it is to be crushed. They embrace and together, these two wounded and rejected ones, share in the communion.

 

ILLUSTRATIONS