Friday, August 12, 2005

Weighing Doubt: One Playwright's Measured Look at the Crisis in the Catholic Church

Joan Frawley Desmond reviews the play favorably. [Spoiler alert]
Sister Aloysius may lack allies, but not stamina. When Father Flynn returns to threaten her with expulsion, she retrieves another round of ammunition from her cache. She tells the priest that she called his previous parishes and learned that he was forced to leave them after similar accusations were leveled against him. The priest buckles and calls the bishop, asking to be reassigned. Later, Sister Aloysius reports the less-than-satisfactory denouement to Sister James: The bishop has appointed Father Flynn pastor of another parish with full authority over the attached school. The principal now reveals that her remarks about the priest's past record were a fabrication-she never called Father Flynn's previous parishes. Still, she believes that the priest's decision to depart without a fight confirms his guilt.

Sister James asks Sister Aloysius if she really thinks she did the right thing. "Oh, Sister James, I have doubts," Sister Aloysius replies, her lowered voice shaking.

Crisis June 2005

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