I saw Philomena this weekend and I enjoyed it. Well, first let me say that it was a difficult theme. If you’ve watched the trailer you’ll know that it’s about a woman who is searching for a son who was taken from her 50 years ago through an adoption.
It was an odd picture to enjoy because most of it is like a travelogue. Philomena meets a journalist who doesn’t like human interest stories, but he’s a little depressed and her story might help him feel productive. He begins a journey with her and together they find some of the answers she was looking for. You go from Belfast to the Beltway and back again.
I think the movie unfairly characterizes the Catholic church. Don’t think I’m defending them because I’m not, I just don’t think it makes sense to believe that 90 year old Sister Hildegard who had been in charge of the young women at the home, felt justified in taking the women’s babies away both because they were conceived in sin, and because she had been chaste her whole life. I mean,the bit about her thinking babies born out of wedlock were conceived in sin rings true, but the part about a woman of the cloth preening about her chastity…well that was a little too precious for me to swallow. I’m not suggesting that women who take vows in the church are free from sexual desires, but let’s be blunt, when it comes to female sexuality if you snooze, you lose!
I can remember back on my own early years, with something almost resembling fondness, when I had lots of women dressed as penguins watching over my wayward soul. Human touch didn’t seem to be one of their pressing needs! Heaven forgive me, I know I don’t speak for them! It’s just that was my impression. The men in the church had lives beyond the church bells. The women? Not so much.
I did enjoy Sr. Anunciata in the movie. She was a young sister who showed Phil compassion. I have been blessed to have met Sisters with that kind of love and care. So my view is that the Catholic church is made up of lots of people from all over the entire globe and it’s sad that they’ve become fair game lately. I won’t defend them, that is for the Church to do. I will try to be fair.