Buy Study Guide The film opens with a series of montage shots depicting life in a white, Catholic community in the Bronx. A young boy hurriedly wakes up and prepares for his service as an altar boy during Sunday mass. As the young boy walks into the church, he pokes fun at Donald, an African-American altar boy. As the morning progresses, we are introduced to Father Flynn , the priest of the parish.
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Scene 1 Father Flynn delivers a sermon at St. Nicholas School and Church in the Bronx in Addressing the idea of religious uncertainty, he tells a story about a cargo ship that sinks in the middle of the ocean.
Everyone on board drowns except one man, who manages to build a makeshift raft. Looking up to the sky, the man navigates by the stars, using them to discern his way home.
I want to say to you: Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone. One day, a young nun named Sister James visits Sister Aloysius in her office. She then offers Sister James advice about how to conduct herself in class, critiquing her for being too easy on the children. Sister Aloysius then asks what Sister James thinks of Father Flynn, wondering aloud where he got his idea for his sermon about doubt.
Nicholas School. Shortly thereafter, Sister James encounters Sister Aloysius in the garden. Sister Aloysius also asks if anyone has hit Donald. When James says no, Aloysius says that someone surely will eventually. Sister James admits that she has been uncomfortable ever since Sister Aloysius instructed her to be more diligent and skeptical. Aloysius then urges James to tell her more about what happened, and James admits that Donald Muller had alcohol on his breath after spending time alone with Father Flynn.
Hearing this, Sister Aloysius decides that she and Sister James need to do something. She knows Monsignor Benedict would simply ask Father Flynn about the incident and then naively believe anything he might say in his defense. Nonetheless, Sister Aloysius hatches a plan to call Father Flynn to her office on the pretense of discussing something else. Then she will bring up the situation regarding Donald Muller.
Father Flyn suggests that the children sing a secular song in addition to the traditional hymns. Before long, Flynn understands that Aloysius is suggesting that he has had inappropriate relations with Donald. He then claims that he caught Donald drinking altar wine.
Because Donald is the only black student at the school, he upholds, he decided not to tell anyone what happened. When Father Flynn leaves, Sister James is relieved. Shortly after his conversation with Sister Aloysius, Father Flynn delivers a sermon about the dangers of gossip. He insists that he has only tried to be supportive and compassionate, and this message resonates with Sister James, who says that she believes in his innocence. Meanwhile, Sister Aloysius speaks with Mrs. Muller in her office.
She explains that he simply needs to make it through June so that he can graduate the eighth grade and get into a good high school. When Sister Aloysius tells Mrs. Muller the real reason she wanted to talk to her, Mrs. Muller is hesitant to pursue the conversation. When it becomes clear that Mrs. After Mrs. He tells Aloysius that she has no right to address this matter on her own. Still, she tells him that she called his former parish and spoke to a nun who told her that he abused a child there as well.
She also tells him that she will continue to call his former parishes until she finds parents who are willing to speak out against him. She then leaves him alone in the office, at which point he picks up the phone and calls the bishop. I have such doubts! Lannamann, Taylor. Retrieved March 10, Copy to Clipboard.
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