Synopsis by Mark Deming
A priest is torn between church dogma and his personal beliefs in this British drama. Father Greg (Linus Roache) is a Catholic priest who tends to a parish in Liverpool. Like his superior, Father Matthew (Tom Wilkinson), Father Greg is not dealing well with his vow of celibacy. While Matthew has been discreetly having an affair with his housekeeper, Greg is homosexual, and he occasionally slips out to gay clubs for anonymous encounters with strangers. One night, Father Greg meets a man named Graham (Robert Carlyle) at the bar; when he bumps into him on the street a few days later, he realizes that he's falling in love with him. As Father Greg struggles with his sexual and spiritual identity, he hears a confession from 14-year-old Lisa Unsworth (Christine Tremarco), who tells him that her father has been molesting her. Mr. Unsworth (Robert Pugh) confirms his daughter's allegation during confession, and he tells the priest that he will not stop his incestuous behavior. Should Father Greg violate the seal of the confessional to save Lisa from further abuse? Priest, which opened in America on Good Friday, generated considerable controversy, both with Catholic organizations (who denounced the picture) and the MPAA (the film had to be re-edited to gain an R rating for U.S. release).
Catholicism, celibacy, church, crisis-of-conscience, homosexual, housekeeper, incest, parish, priest