In the Dark

Bursting the Wineskin

Produced by Maven Pictures 
Written and directed by Maggie Betts 
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics 

Growing up in the 1950’s, I was regaled with many stories about nuns and their punishing ways.  Having attended Roman Catholic grammar school through the third grade, I did some regaling myself despite knowing full well that my tales were just that: tales embroidered with lurid fantasies involving the sting of rulers and yardsticks wielded by women in black veils.

Then came the sea change in Church affairs known as the Second Vatican Council that convened from 1962 to 1965.  The Council was determined to alter many things.  The Latin liturgy would be replaced by the vernacular, the laity would be allowed into more decision-making posts, and medieval cruelty would be purged from Church disciplines.  But on the way to achieving these reforms, something odd happened.  The horror stories we used to tell of nuns dwindled into truth, and thus lost their innocence.  Here’s an example.  When my wife was teaching her fourth-grade class in our parish’s grammar school c. 1964, she overheard an aged sister telling her sixth-grade class that, under the pain of mortal sin, they were no longer to believe in the story of Adam and Eve.  This good woman clearly had attended a Vat II re-education camp and was now...

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