Doubt


Doubt was released in 2008 and stars Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius Beauvier and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Father Brendan Flynn. The film is a powerful a illustration of the power of gossip and the duty we all have to guard ourselves against being a contributing party to it.  The message is coupled with our responsibility to act to protect others when needed.

Father Flynn has recently arrived at St. Nicholas in the Bronx where Sister Aloysius has served as Principal for many years, ruling over each succeeding parish priest as well as the school children and staff. Father Flynn is a likable charismatic figure who appears to recognize Sister Aloysius’ iron rule of fear over the school and befriends both staff and students. His tenor at the school is threatened when Sister Aloysius begins to suspect him of inappropriate conduct with a newly arrived student and threatens to expose him and destroy his career. 

The message of the movie is summed up in Father Flynn's illustration of gossip as the scattering pillow feathers into the wind from a housetop and the futile effort to recover them and restore the pillow.  Just as all the feathers can never be  recovered, gossip once set forth cannot be recalled.

When sister Aloysius gets her desire, she is racked by the fear that she may have been wrong and that church hierarchy has merely determined it better to move promising priests away from her than to battle a domineering shrew.

Doubt is a truly great movie with much to think about.  

James 3:6-10 (KJV) And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. {7} For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: {8} But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. {9} Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. {10} Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

                                        SS WL CG