Director: Antonia Bird
Studio: Walt Disney Video
Year: 2003 on DVD
Available: Amazon.com and Amazon.ca
The DVD package contains a warning that the video contains course language and is not recommended for children. Do not let the language warning scare you away from this movie. Even for those who are sensitive to strong language, the issues in Priest are important enough to make this a "must see" video. The movie contains numerous issues – celibacy of Catholic clergy, homosexuality, religion-based homophobia, the confidentiality of the confessional, and the role of grace in religion.
Priest is a story about two Catholic priests, an older, practical, veteran priest, Father Matthew, and a younger, conservative, and more idealistic priest, Father Greg. Both priests handle sexual desires in a different manner. While Father Matthew has a long-term relationship with the housekeeper, Father Greg has a more secretive relationship with a man.
Many gay people struggle with spiritual issues much bigger than their sexuality. Their spiritual questions can run very deep. Priest digs into those spiritual issues. Father Greg, is not certain what kind of a God and what kind of church he serves. His sexuality and a case of incest in the parish forces Father Greg to face complex spiritual questions. He is tormented by sexual desires, and feels his life is consumed and contaminated by sin. But his struggles go beyond that. Father Greg struggles with his concept of God. He sees the ideal God, as represented by Jesus, and the God who appears to be demanding, cold, and aloof while people suffer. Strong contrasts are portrayed between the two very different visions of God.
Father Matthew has a better picture of God's grace. He sees God as gracious and understanding. Father Matthew challenges Father Greg's homophobia. After a lot of pressure, Father Greg consents to serve communion with Father Matthew. Unfortunately, many people in the parish are not ready to receive communion from a man they've discovered is gay.