Next on the Pope's watch-list: a documentary about the reality of the priesthood

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From the French countryside to the impoverished streets of the Philippines, this documentary follows the extraordinary calls of ordinary men to the priesthood.

During the Vatican premiere of this film, titled Sacerdoce, the director—who himself is a believer but is not Catholic—said he hopes this film helps garner a greater understanding of the Church and priests.

Director, Sacerdoce

I chose to make this film because I find that the image that the world has of the Church, and of priests in particular, is very, very harsh and sometimes out of touch with reality.
We want to help people better understand the radical nature of the priesthood. Today, it's almost hard to see young men who are good-looking, well-educated, and who don't go to Google or some other big-name company—they go to the Catholic Church. We want to understand what drives them, what's behind it that's so beautiful, so wonderful.

But he also hopes audience members will use the film to reflect on difficult questions.

Director, Sacerdoce

What do I give to others? What am I prepared to lose to live out my calling? I'm convinced that we all have a particular call to live out, just like these priests.

The film Sacerdoce does not shy away from the tough topics that priests often face—such as celibacy, the sexual abuse crisis and being disconnected from society.

The director and the priests in the film had a private meeting with Pope Francis, who said he would like to see the film himself.

Director, Sacerdoce

He told me that he's passionate about seeing priests who are out in the field, who get their hands dirty and who are servants and pastors. He says let's stop calling priests abbots or putting them on a pedestal. Priests have to be there, serving, just as Jesus did.

When it was released in theaters in October, Sacerdoce had huge success and was ranked as the 3rd best documentary film by a recognized platform in France. It is now in the process of being distributed internationally in English and Spanish.


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