Pink Smoke Over the Vatican at HSDFF

October 9, 2010

To date, nearly 100 women have been ordained or are training to be ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church — despite the Church having affirmed, as recently as this July, it’s position that female ordination constitutes a “delictum gravius,” or grave crime (which is also how it characterizes pedophilia).

Pink Smoke Over the Vatican is a 52-minute documentary by California filmmaker Jules Hart that examines thea small but determined group of women seeking ordination as Roman Catholic priests.

It follows several women who were secretly ordained on a boat on the Danube River in 2002, only to be excommunicated soon after. As you might expect, it’s not easy for them to reconcile their ardor for their faith with the bureaucratic intransigence  and sometimes draconian discipline of the Church.

Hart also introduces us to Father Roy Bourgeois, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee for 2010 who advocated religious rights for women and who was also excommunicated– a punishment rarely levied against, for instance,  priests accused of sexual misconduct with  children or bishops who’ve covered up these crimes.

Hart, a non-Catholic, took on the project after she was  approached by a woman seeking ordination. Pink Smoke is her third film, and it received two awards at the Action on Film International Film Festival in Pasadena, Ca., in July. The film will screen on Oct. 17 at 1:15 pm. and Hart will be in attendance.

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