Radical grace

The stars of the new documentary Radical grace are Simone Campbell, Chris Schenk, and Jean Hughes. three outspoken nuns. It all started with the Vatican attempt to censure American nuns. They called the problem “radical feminism” or “radical ideology”. Sister Jean Hughes is livid. “I have been a Sister for longer than most of those guys have been alive!”, she says. Sister Jean works with ex-convict, trying to encourage them to have confidence in their abilities, to have hope. When one man tells her he killed his best friend, Jean tells him that he deserves a second chance. Lately, Jean has had health problems, and spent some time in the hospital. As for the accusation of being a feminist, Sister Chris Schenk’s reaction is “If that’s a sin, guilty as charged!”. Chris would like women to be ordained. We see her trying to find proof of the presence of women, even as priests, from the very beginning of the Catholic movement. If you ask Sister Simone Campbell what really irks the Vatican is that Simone and her organization, NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby, “was that we did better politicking than they did.”. When Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposed budget cuts for Social Services would pay for tax cuts for the rich, Sister Simone goes on the road, despite the Vatican censure. The 2012 “Nuns on the bus” protest had Simone and her sisters go across the US to talk about what Ryan was doing in Washington and to the power of Catholic activism. Powerful film. Touching! When Pope Benedict resigns, Sister Chris Schenk goes to Rome for the election of Pope Francis. She’s hopeful that this new progressive Pope will maybe make a difference. Maybe! During the “Nuns on the bus” tour, one counter protestor does not agree with the political stance of the Sisters. “Those nuns are worst than pedophile priests!” I have the feeling that the inmates are still running the asylum.

Rémi-Serge Gratton

Radical grace

Directed by:

Rebecca Parrish

Screenplay by:

Rebecca Parrish

96 min.

Rated Parental Guidance.


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