DON MEEHAN’S CELIBATE SECRETS nominated by OAXACA FILM FEST 2016 – Top International Fest
Celibate Secrets is based on a true story that reveals secret and inner workings and corruption of some priests, cardinals, and bishops in the Roman Catholic Church.
Don Meehan was very much excited for his celebrated script, Celibate Secrets, to be an Official Selection, nominated to be among the finals in the Thriller Crime and Global Script Challenge Divisions of the Oaxaca Film Fest in October 2016.
Since I don’t have the resources nor the industry connections for further circulation and filming, I am posting the entire copyrighted script here for all to see and read, and perhaps someone somewhere will love it and may want to film it and put it into the category of the recent Academy Award film, Spotlight.
Although that film is based on the Boston priest abuse scandal, the film closes with a list of places in the United States and around the world where major scandals involving abuse by priests took place. It also states that Cardinal Law resigned, and was eventually promoted to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, one of the biggest churches in the world. A sad story of being widely acclaimed and highly honored and promoted by the Vatican powers that be after creating the terrible Boston scandal.
Quoting from Wikipedia: Spotlight is a 2015 American biographicaldrama film that follows The Boston Globe‘s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States, and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests.
Latest reports from the Vatican, and continued news of how certain cardinals globally continue to sidestep the issues of survivors of sexual abuse by the clergy, merely amplify the notion that it is business as usual with the centuries old device of protecting the Faith and the money at all costs.
Celibate Secrets – A synopsis
(Please read complete script at celibate-secrets-wcontact)
by Don Meehan
Ernie Quinn’s story reveals deep dark secrets of some Catholic priests and bishops. He was nearing his final studies at a seminary, preparing to become a priest. At the welcoming speech to all the men by the seminary President Father Murray, the scene is set for some fun loving, practical jokes, and later some signs of errant behavior among the seminary’s teaching staff of priests.
Ernie becomes friends with Bobby, Henry, Joey and Burt. Talk among the five has been about mandatory celibacy, and rumors about a double standard disregarding that rule by their instructors. Henry tells of rumors about instructors frequenting a brothel and a gay karaoke bar a couple hours away. The five go there one night to see for themselves, and are shocked to see their priests there. Henry secretly gets a photo that winds up on the front page of the town newspaper. It is of two seminary priests lovingly hugging, and leaving the gay bar. The five are blamed and threatened about he photo. Henry dangles another one to their seminary president, Father Murray, of him leaving the brothel. An authority battle ensues with a standoff when summer comes and students going their separate ways.
Ernie is assigned to a parish for the summer near his home, assisting an alcoholic and drug addicted gay parish priest who is also a pedophile. He orders Ernie to leave on weekends and he has also propositioned Ernie. Ernie blows the whistle to the bishop who covers it up and punishes Ernie, banishing him from the diocese and seminary. Ernie’s seminary friend, Bobby, now a priest in California, sets him up in his diocese to come to a parish consisting of real weirdo priests, under the command of bisexual Father Richard (Sharpey Dick) Sharpe. One of the priests there looks like and wears his hair just like Jesus. Dick, the “boss” is another alcohol and pill addict, who is making it with a man and a nun and whose drunken stupor also lands him in the hospital. When Ernie visits him he witnesses more unacceptable acts and reports all about him to his bishop. The bishop covers it all up and orders Ernie to “forget” everything as if it never happened and to leave the diocese.
Ernie files a $50 million lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act, naming priests and bishops all the way up to the pope. But the well paid diocesan lawyers almost totally bankrupt Ernie and his attorney forcing a very small settlement. Ernie becomes friends with Don Wright, from far away, who sympathizes and has offered to help Ernie through his trials. Years later, Ernie’s priest friend, mentor, and counselor at the seminary, Father Armand Raymond, is named by the pope to be bishop of Huntsville, Alabama, and invites Ernie to his ordination. This leads to a renewed friendship and he invites Ernie to come to Huntsville and finally be ordained.
Ernie rents his house out and moves his furniture in a rented van across the country from California, but Bishop Armand Raymond is nowhere to be found. He has suddenly been called to the Vatican. Ernie is now living in his car in mid winter and when the bishop returns he turns Ernie away. Although Ernie has told him everything about the lawsuit, he lies that he didn’t know about it and throws Ernie away to live in his car with a cold winter arriving. Ernie returns to California heartbroken, and even suffers with PTSD over the heartbreaking experiences, but time goes by. He luckily lands a job, settles down and finally meets and falls in love with Doris, buys a ring, and is all set to ask her to marry him when he gets a phone call from his friend, Don, who many months ago, has written and complained to the pope and cardinals getting no response. Now Don, with the four friends gathered in Vegas, is calling Ernie about a letter he says he has now finally received from the Vatican. It comes just as Ernie is about to propose to Doris. Don tells Ernie of an apology from the pope and an invitation to be ordained. The story ends with the phone in one hand and ring in another and Ernie giving his final decision what to do.
I invite one and all to read the script and I invite you to pass it along to your friends. And please submit a comment. Hopefully, it may ultimately land on the desk of an interested party to take it into production. Please read it HERE and comment. I am so excited about the subject matter that I have already written a sequel with Ernie serving justice on the offending hierarchy in most unusual unorthodox ways.