In Good Conscience: Sister Jeannine Gramick’s Journey of Faith. Directed by Barbara Rick. New York: Out of the Blue Films, Inc., 2006. 82 minutes. $29.95 for purchase by individuals; $100.00 for public libraries/high schools; $195.00 for community/religious groups; $299.00 for colleges/universities.
Barbara Rick has created a wonderful documentary about a nun’s journey as she speaks out for better acceptance of gays and lesbians in the Catholic Church, taking her message of hope all the way to the Vatican.
Sister Jeannine Gramick’s mission was inspired by the question, “What is the Church doing for my gay brothers and sisters?” Because of this, she has been an outspoken member for the gay community, much to the consternation of the Church hierarchy. As the documentary progresses, Rick shows that the church has forbidden Sr. Gramick from speaking out on behalf of the gay community on several occasions. Using her wit and charm, Sr. Gramick confronts protesters with a message of hope, understanding, and love.
Part of the documentary focuses on Sr. Gramick’s trip to the Vatican, where she shares ideas on heterosexist doctrines within the Church and tries to obtain an audience with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Instead of disclosing her own orientation, she focuses on her mission and her ministry.
In Good Conscience is similar to the gay documentary A Jihad for Love (2008), and is a welcome addition to the hard-to-come-by documentaries on homosexuality and religion. Rick’s film is recommended for any public or academic library serving teen and adult patrons.
Reviewed by Johnnie N. Gray
Interlibrary Loan Librarian
Christopher Newport University