“In Good Conscience”
“Sister Jeannine Gramick’s Journey of Faith”
Every once in a while a movie comes along that tugs at your heart. “In Good Conscience” is one of those documentaries that pulls you in and won’t let you go. It is the story of a true here, a person we would all be proud to know, Sister Jeannine Gramick. He is an amazing woman that fought for what she believed it and did not stop. It so happened that what she believes in is us—the gay and lesbian community. Barbara Rick, the director, has filmed a love song to Sister Jeanne and it is easy to see why. She is power; she is inspiration, she is frustration, she is disappointment and she is a nun. Her convictions moved me as few other movies have been able to and I am no pushover. Thus is a story of courage and integrity, of honesty and grace. If I were Catholic, she would be my special saint.
Sister Jeannine followed her conscience—even if it took her to the upper ranks of the Catholic Church—the Vatican. She follows her conscience meekly and quietly. She embraces her enemies and loves them; she is compassion on high and always looks for the good. She tends to the business of G-d with humility and humor.
In 1999, Sister Jeannine received admonishment from the Vatican forbidding her to do any “pastoral work involving homosexual persons”. She chose to ignore the letter she received and kept on doing what she knew how to do best—advocate for us in the Mother Church,
Her greatest adversary, who remains unseen in the film, is Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who in 2005 became the emissary of G-d on earth (according to Catholics, the Pope. He had been the thorn in her side. Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI, tried to every way to discourage our sister from trying to bring about our inclusion to the church. They had a short conversation once on a plane and she used that chat as a catalyst to continue the work she had been doing for our good.
To watch this lady take on the church makes your head spin. She was and still is one of the strongest advocates we will ever have. Her spirit is boundless, her ideals never wave and she represents the best of all people. Even when being attacked she manages to soothe her attackers and show love. The fact that the church tried to silence her made her all the more eager to wage her war for our rights in the Roman Catholic hierarchy. As a Jew, I found so much to admire here—which is a bit odd because my religion is opposed to hers. This is a woman “for all ages”.