The documentary’s director, Yuval David, a Jewish man in a same-sex civil marriage with a Catholic man, claims the film does “something unprecedented.”
“It documents the creation of unique Catholic and LGBTQ+ inclusive iconography through sophisticated photo art that reimagines Jesus as a member or ally of the LGBTQ+ community,” he said in a Dec. 24 essay in Out, an LGBT style and culture magazine.
“The reactions of the film's interviewees to the photo art — filmed in real-time with all the interviewees — shows the incredible power and impact that an inclusive, accepting Church would have,” David said.
Among the commentators is Father Bryan Massingale, a Fordham University theology professor. The film’s Facebook page describes him as “the only publicly gay, African American, Catholic priest in the country.”
“I dream of a church where two men and two women can stand before the Church, proclaim their love and have it blessed in a sacrament of marriage. And that their love would be seen as divine. That God is present in that relationship. When we look at their relationship, we touch God,” he said, according to the Jan. 10 post.
Massingale’s statements are contrary to the Catholic understanding of marriage as a union of one man and one woman.
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The documentary interviews various dissenting groups as well, including Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, and Sister Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministry.
In 1999, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith permanently barred Gramick and New Ways Ministry co-founder Fr. Robert Nugent from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons due to “errors and ambiguities in their approach.” In a February 12, 2010 statement, then-U.S. bishops’ conference president Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said the group’s claim to be Catholic “only confuses the faithful regarding the authentic teaching and ministry of the Church with respect to persons with a homosexual inclination.”
“No one should be misled by the claim that New Ways Ministry provides an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice,” Cardinal George continued.