Winner: Best Documentary – Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
RINDGE, NH – “Pink Smoke Over the Vatican,” a controversial documentary about the movement of women being ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church, will be shown at Franklin Pierce University’s Rindge Campus on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. in Spagnuolo Hall.
After the screening, ordained priest Rev. Theresa Chabot of Manchester’s Church of the Holy Spirit will conduct a question and answer session.
The film chronicles events that unfolded on June 3, 2008, when the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the modern-day name for The Holy Office of the Inquisition, issued a sweeping order of excommunication for “the crime of attempting sacred ordination of a woman.” In spite of the challenges, many women are following their spiritual calling and are being ordained, risking severe punishment and outright denunciation by the very Church to which they’ve dedicated their lives.
The movement came into public view in 2002 when seven women were ordained on a ship on the Danube River. “Pink Smoke Over the Vatican” chronicles the journey of these women and others among the many who’ve followed in their footsteps. It explores the complex ethical choices made by these women as they attempt to discern the difference between man’s law and God’s law. Their struggles encompass both the internal battle wrought by going against the Church they love as well as the external battles with the Church hierarchy, centuries-long tradition, and the rampant prejudice that still prevails against women in positions of power.
Angela Bonavoglia, journalist and author of “Good Catholic Girls: How Women Are Leading the Fight to Change the Church,” has described the film’s producer, director, and editor, Jules Hart, as doing, “… what no one else has done: she has followed and filmed women being ordained in this revolutionary movement, spoken to their supporters, and documented their struggles to challenge the hierarchy and follow their call. The film serves not only as an expose of the church’s antiquated laws but as a call to action, for what becomes of women in the Catholic Church is going to determine what becomes of the Church itself.”
Pink Smoke Over the Vatican has already won numerous awards including:
- Best Female Filmmaker, and Best Faith Based Film at the Action on Film International Film Festival
- Best Documentary – Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
- Award of Merit, Feature Documentary – The Accolade Competition
- Official Selection at The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Oaxaca International Independent Film Festival, Carmel Art & Film Festival, Beloit International Film Festival, Macon Film Festival and the La Femme Film Festival
The film includes appearances by former Maryknoll Missionary Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who has been excommunicated and stripped of his status as a priest for speaking his conscience as a leading advocate for women’s ordination.
To date, although all the women in the film who were ordained have been excommunicated, not one cleric who has been accused or found guilty of sexual abuse or bishops who abetted these crimes have received such a punishment.
Movie running time is about 64 minutes. Franklin Pierce University is a little more than an hour from downtown Manchester. You can click here for directions from your location.
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