Created Equal (2017) Movie Script

[relaxing mystical music]
[church bell chiming]
[children laughing and shouting]
[Sister Jean] Careful Samantha.
You nearly knocked me down.
Samantha, what do you say?
Excuse me, Sister Jean.
I'm sorry.
- Aw.
- Sister Alejandra.
My doofy brother says girls
can't do what boys can do,
- because we're weak.
- [Alejandra] Nonsense.
You can do and be anything
you want when you grow up.
Even President
of our great country.
Don't you forget that.
[Samantha] I wanna be
like Father John and hold mass
and serve bread and wine
and communion when I grow up.
[Alejandra] Well,
that would be wonderful...
[Sister Jean] Or, Samantha,
you could be a Sister, like me.
And teach in a beautiful school
or a big hospital.
[Sister Jean]
Or you can work with the poor.
But you can never be a priest.
[Sister Jean clapping]
Let's go, children.
[soothing music]
Let's go.
[phone vibrating]
Who the hell is Sasha?
[Nicki] You heard me.
Okay. So, you're just
gonna ignore me?
Why are you searching
through my phone?
Do not answer my question
with another question.
That's the kind of thing
that makes me think
I can't trust you.
Do not flip this on me.
Who is she?
[Tommy] She's just some chick.
I can't control who texts me.
- Some chick?
- Mm-hmm.
Well, 'some chick' said
that y'all were gonna hang out
Well, how's that possible
if I'm gonna be with you?
So, why don't you go buy
the sexiest little black dress
you can find.
You think you can buy me,
don't you? [keys jangling]
It's working, innit?
[keys jangling]
- Kind of.
- [door clicks open]
[Alejandra] Help me, Father,
with this challenge.
[Alejandra] I know I'm called
to guide Your people
and to do Your holy will.
[Alejandra] Help me, Father,
with this challenge.
I know I'm called
to guide Your people
and to do Your holy will. Amen.
Good day, Father John.
Sister Alejandra.
We need to talk.
Yes, Father.
Once again,
I have word that you're speaking
with the young girls
about women going into
the priesthood.
- Father John...
- And worst of all,
you yourself have applied
to the seminary
to study for the priesthood.
Now, what kind of an example
are you setting for these girls?
Father, I wanna do what you do.
I wish to bring the word
of Jesus Christ to His people.
You already do.
I do not, Father.
You know I don't.
[Father John]
In your own way, yes.
It's not enough, Father.
I pray and pray
and the message is the same.
I believe in my heart
that Jesus wants me to minister.
That he wants me
to become a priest.
It is my calling.
You know that the church
will not allow women
to become priests.
[Father John]
There are so many things...
Father, they are not...
- They will have to be.
- [Alejandra] Why, Father?
Why shouldn't a woman be allowed
to become a priest?
[Father John]
It is the law of the church.
Now look, we have had
this discussion several times
over the past year.
You leave me no choice.
You are no longer to work
with the students.
You are now assigned
to assist with the shut-ins.
[Father John] Do you understand?
Yes, Father, I understand.
Have a blessed day, Sister.
[bright music]
Sister Alejandra,
where are you going?
I'm leaving the school,
but soon you'll have
a new teacher
and she'll help you learn
amazing things.
No, you are a teacher.
We want you, Sister Alejandra.
That won't be possible.
Will I ever see you again?
I promise
you will be in my heart.
I will keep it always.
Thank you.
Alejandra, I am so sorry
it had to come to this.
You just have to be so careful
when going against
church doctrine.
[Sister Jean]
What will you do now?
[Tommy] Hey, Sasha, it's Tommy.
Sorry I missed you last night.
I got hung up at work.
[Sasha] It's okay.
We must talk tonight.
Yeah, I'll call you later.
[Tommy] All right, bye.
[tram bell ringing]
[lively pop music]
[unintelligible lyrics]
[song fades out]
Good morning, Mr. Reilly.
Good morning, darling.
How are you this fine Monday?
I am tired.
How's your boy? Is he still
giving you a hard time?
Oh, he just discovered girls.
Why don't you bring him in?
I can have a talk.
[Betty laughs] Oh no, baby.
Listen, so it's
your mother's birthday.
- Mm-hmm.
- I sent her a gift from you.
- Thank you very much.
- You're welcome.
Hey, who's Alejandra Batista?
Oh, that's a matter
sent over by Dunbar.
- All right.
- Fine.
- Tommy,
- Huh.
- Call your mother.
- No.
[knock on the door]
[Tommy] Take a seat.
Brief me on the Solas case.
[Silk] Sure. Gwen Solas.
Gender discrimination case.
Brilliant executive,
denied promotions,
paid less
than her male counterparts.
It's an open to shut trial,
It's a statement case
for other women
bumping into the glass ceiling.
Now, of course, my heart
really bleeds for Gwen.
Except when you get
in front of a jury of eight men
and they don't agree.
Uh, set up
a settlement conference.
[Jane] If we settle, we'll be
leaving money on the table.
Assuming we win in court,
where the odds against
the plaintiff are two to one.
So, there's a litigation risk.
Not to mention the reputation
cost for the firm if we lose.
Take the sure settlement.
Tommy, you're not afraid
of trials, are you?
[scoffs] What's our demand?
- [Silk] Two point five.
- What are they?
- [Silk] Seven fifty.
- What's it worth?
- Nine hundred.
- Settle it.
[elevator pings]
[suspenseful music]
[Tommy] Oh, Mr. Dunbar.
What's this new case
you sent over?
One of our biggest clients
called in a favor
for her housekeeper's daughter,
Alejandra Batista.
- [Tommy] Pro bono?
- Does that matter?
[Dunbar] Her company bills
five million a year.
I'd mow her lawn
every weekend if she asked.
[Silk chortles]
Plus, the firm requires,
what, 75 pro bono hours.
[Dunbar] You've got three.
Is that really
the number you wanna take
to the partnership committee
next month?
No, sir.
What's this about?
- Didn't Silk tell you?
- I was, uh...
It's a case we don't want,
but we can't duck.
Just make it go away.
[Tommy] What are we settling?
Woman's suing
the Catholic Church.
[soothing music]
[Betty] Hi.
Can I help you?
[Alejandra] Uh, Tommy Reilly.
- Okay, and your name?
- Ally Batista.
[Betty] Okay.
[camera shutter]
- [Betty] Have a seat.
- Thank you.
[Betty] There's a Ally Batista
here to see you.
Yeah, thanks.
Please, let me take this, sir.
- Don't let me down.
- [Tommy] Never do.
[Tommy] Silk,
Ms. Batista's in the lobby.
Would you meet her, please?
[Tommy clears his throat]
[relaxing music]
[camera shutter clicking]
[Silk] Thank you, Betty.
Ms. Batista, right this way.
[camera shutter]
All right.
I tell you what.
Why don't you put on
that little dress
that I just bought you.
And when I pick you up,
you can tell daddy all about it.
Uh, I need to call you back.
Ms. Batista...
Please sit down.
Can I get you
some coffee, water?
- No, thank you.
- Uh, Silk. Won't you stay?
[Tommy clears his throat]
So, Mrs. Batista.
Uhm, it's miss.
I'm sorry. Ms. Batista.
Let me just say
how truly sorry I am
for everything
that's happened to you.
What are you talking about?
[Tommy] I was informed
that you're suing
the Catholic Church,
so I assumed...
I'm suing the Catholic Church,
because I want to become
a Catholic priest.
I see.
Before we go any further down
that road, Ms. Batista,
I apologize, I have to ask.
Are you serious about this?
You have an Irish name.
Are you Catholic, Mr. Reilly?
I didn't have any choice
in the matter.
Are you a practicing Catholic?
I was an altar boy.
[Tommy] Ms. Batista,
my religious practice
is the least of your concern.
You are suing
the Catholic Church
to become a priest.
No, Mr. Reilly, I wanna sue
the Catholic Church to allow me
to enter the seminary
so that I can become a priest.
- [Tommy] Ms. Batista...
- Call me Ally.
- You can't become a priest.
- Because I'm a woman?
Last time I checked,
there were laws in this country
that prohibit discrimination
based on gender.
Yes, but...
[Ally] Is the Catholic Church
an institution
and governed
by the laws of this country?
Uh, you're over simplifying.
Then how can the church
discriminate against me
based solely on my gender?
Are you sure you wouldn't rather
become a lawyer
instead of a priest?
Don't patronize me, Mr. Reilly.
Ms. Batista,
I don't think God himself
could help you become a priest.
The only thing I don't have
in way of qualifications,
is a penis.
[Alejandra] Why is that
a fundamental requirement
for the priesthood?
I have no idea.
All priests
take a vow of celibacy.
So, what difference does it make
what sex organ a priest has?
[uncomfortable sigh]
Could you help me
out here, Silk?
We're supposed to avoid
a lawsuit.
Well, maybe we'll get lucky
and the church will want to
settle to avoid the notoriety.
[Alejandra] Unless they decide
to let me study
to become a priest,
I have no intention of settling.
We don't like to go to court,
unless we have
a fighting chance to win.
[Tommy] So, why don't we take
the weekend,
we'll think about it,
you can think about it,
and we'll talk again on Monday.
My mind won't change.
If you won't represent me,
then Mr. Dunbar
will find someone who will.
[Tommy] Okay, I understand.
We'll be in touch.
We'll do a little research
and I'll contact you
within a week.
Thank you for your time.
[elevator pings]
I wanna know everything
about Ms. Batista.
Put together a memorandum
about the viability
of getting past motion
to dismiss.
You think
there's something here?
I dunno.
Just doing my due diligence.
Come on.
[suspenseful music]
[Mario Batista]
Yes, Father John.
[Mario] Yes, thank you, sir.
Good bye.
Alejandra, we have raised you
to be a good Catholic.
All of your life,
you have made us proud.
But this time, you have brought
shame on the family
- with this silly priest thing.
- But I...
How can we go
to Mass on Sunday now?
Every time Father John sees us,
he'll be thinking,
"Oh, Mr. Batista,
he cannot control his family."
- You make me look weak.
- [Alejandra] I...
[Mario] No.
You don't speak.
You must respect tradition.
- Say something.
- You just said...
Urgh, this is too much.
- Please!
- No.
Oh, Tommy.
Happy birthday.
That dress makes you look
even more beautiful than ever.
Oh, Irish blarney
just like your father. Oh!
So, how's what's her name?
Who's what's her name?
Urgh, you're a bad boy.
[Louisa] Maybe you'd be able
to remember their names
if they stuck around
for more than two weeks.
You're just like your father
with that wandering eye.
So, what are you working on now?
Actually, Dunbar dropped
a pro bono case in my lap.
It's about a young woman
who wants to sue
the Catholic Church
to become a priest.
You know, your, uh,
your aunt Dotty's hip
is bothering her.
And, and Rose is well, Rose.
It's okay.
You don't wanna talk about it.
I probably know
your feelings anyway.
She doesn't have that right.
[Tommy] Mom, I don't want
this case to go to trial
any more than you do.
But if I blow this,
I won't make partner.
Well, then you'll have to make
partner as some other firm.
Because if you take on
this case and win...
you'll change the religion
I've practiced all my life.
- That your father practiced.
- He didn't practice.
Poor man never recovered
from Vatican II.
He never recovered
from Irish whiskey.
[Tommy] You wanna have
a real conversation?
- Let's have one.
- [Louisa] Okay.
What about the millions
of Catholics who do practice?
Do you really think you have
the right to do this?
We are a nation of laws
and no one,
including the Catholic Church,
gets to be above the law.
Yeah. What about
the laws of God? Tommy?
Mmm? Where do the play in this?
Can we please not do this?
I'm sorry.
It's your birthday.
Tommy, if you force
the Catholic Church
to make a woman a priest,
I don't know
if I'll be able to forgive you.
["Call The Devil By His Name"
performed by Nick Tremulis]
[Tommy] I actually may need
to make it an early night.
[Nicki] Oh, why?
[Tommy] I had
a pretty crazy day at work.
This woman wants to sue
the Catholic Church.
[Tommy] She wants to be
a priest.
I'm sorry.
Maybe I'm just naive.
But isn't the law pretty, uhm...
...definitive on the separation
of church and state?
I may not see it that way.
And then there's always
the Tommy way.
Doesn't matter who's life
you may ruin.
Oh, come on.
[phone ringing]
- Why don't you answer it?
- For what?
Well, you don't have
anything to hide.
Don't have anything
to prove either.
[Nicki] It's just always
gonna be like this,
- isn't it?
- Like what?
Like you can't commit
to anyone.
Oh, Wh-wh-what?
You are so full of it.
[Nicki] Is that all
you ever think about?
Hmm? Am I just
some sex toy to you?
[Jane] Tommy Reilly.
The new Gloria Oren.
Champion of women's rights.
No gloating.
It's unseemly.
- Is she looking for a pay day?
- I wish.
I think the only way
to win this, is not to play.
Silk, what did you find out?
Yeah, if we file it'll be
a case of first impression.
At no time has this course
of action been raised
in a state or federal court.
- Do we have jurisdiction?
- Short answer's yes.
We've seen it in sex abuse cases
but never in
ecclesiastical rules.
[Tommy] Okay, do we have a case?
[Jane] We have
the Civil Right Act of 1964,
which prohibits
the discrimination of women
for employment
without good cause.
Is a priest an employee?
No, at best
he's an independent contractor.
- Well, that's a problem.
- Yes and no.
We're not only suing
for her to become a priest,
we're suing for her to have
the right to enter the seminary
to study for the priesthood.
I think that's what
we need to focus on.
A seminarian is a student.
It's only after ordination
that he becomes a priest.
[Jane] We have case law
expanding a woman's right
to venues
previously restricted to males.
Like educational institutions.
[Silk] Now, that may get us past
the motion to dismiss.
- If we can do that...
- We're before a jury.
Tell me about
Ms. Alejandra Batista.
[Silk] Age 28,
born September 18,
1988 in Mexico.
Immigrated to the US in '96
with her family
when her father
got a job at the oil refineries.
[Tommy] What else?
I was able to interview
several neighbors and sisters.
Everyone thinks she's a saint.
- Where does she work?
- The Sisters of Blessed Charity.
- Of course.
- Uh, she brings food
to the shut-ins,
collects clothes for the poor.
- Any history with the bad boys?
- [Silk] Nope.
- Girlfriends?
- [Silk] No social life
outside of church.
Attends mass every day.
I had my nerds
do a run on the internet.
- And?
- [Silk] No Facebook, Twitter,
e-mail accounts,
no credit cards,
traffic tickets or debt.
It's as if she doesn't exist.
Social security number,
date of birth,
everything checks.
I swear it's Snow White.
After all the wicked witches
we handle,
it'll be refreshing
to represent Snow White.
Any more information
before we move?
- Move?
- [Silk] More?
[Jane] Dunbar?
I'm just doing my job y'all.
[Father John] Oh hey.
I don't believe
I've seen you in a while.
I must be coming to masses
you aren't officiating.
You know, your father
used to say that.
I didn't believe him either.
You have a few minutes for me?
Sure, sure, sure.
What do you need?
I thought you weren't
supposed to smoke
in front of your parishioners.
Who says I'm smoking
in front of a parishioner?
I need some advice.
- Really?
- Well, not advice.
More like some information.
I was interested in the steps
that you would need to take
- to become a priest.
- [solemn music]
Forget it.
You probably blew
four rules today.
Ha ha.
It's for a potential client.
Ah. Okay, well, uhm...
Well, a candidate has to be
an unmarried male,
baptized and confirmed
in the Catholic religion.
That's it?
Well, I qualify.
Oh, not so fast.
Then you next, next you need
to speak with a priest
- and then the parish.
- Mmm.
And if you have
a good reputation,
a personal relationship with God
and dedicated to the church,
he recommends you
to the diocese.
I just failed.
Any tests?
Well, since
the Catholic scandals and all,
a candidate must meet
with psychiatrists
and go through
a battery of tests. Yes.
And all this is documented?
Yes and then submitted
to the bishop.
- And he makes the decision?
- Yes.
What about a case of a denial?
What's the appeals process like?
This isn't a court of law,
All right, let me make this
as clear as I can.
Say my client
can pass all the tests,
is devoted to helping people,
has a deep personal relationship
with God, the whole nine yards.
So, what's the problem?
No penis.
- What?
- My client's a woman.
Please tell me we're not talking
of a Sister Alejandra.
We are.
Tommy, I'm gonna tell you
Now, I've known you
since you were a young child.
Things have always
come easy for you.
Sports, grades, women, money.
Listen to me very carefully.
You are not the one
to take this on.
My client came to me for help.
I have an obligation.
No one here cares
about your obligations.
You are toying
with a way of life.
Listen, if Jesus Christ
wanted women to become priests,
he would have made his apostles
women, but he didn't.
He had many candidates.
His own mother, Mary.
Mary Magdalene.
But he chose not to.
[unsettling music]
So, you're saying,
the church's entire basis...
is that Jesus didn't appoint
a woman as an apostle?
And you're okay with that?
When it comes to matters
of faith and morals
in the Catholic Church,
Look, I gotta go.
don't do this, son.
Do you know why
the Catholic Church
forbids women priests?
Here's a hint: There's no direct
biblical reference for it.
The scripture's silent on that.
So, it's all divine revelation.
Their only justification,
is that Jesus
didn't appoint women
to be among
the original apostles.
No other reason.
I'd go to war with that story.
Will, will that overcome
the religious liberty law?
The act states that
"the government shall not
substantially burden a person's
exercise of religion",
but it provides an exception
if two conditions are both met.
- So, it's anti-discrimination.
- Yes.
And the second condition
is that the rule must be
the least restrictive way
in which to further
government interest.
So, this is a straight-up
civil rights case.
You sound like a guy
preparing for trial.
If we can't scare the church
into a settlement,
we'd better be prepared
to fight them in court.
Jane, draft the complaint.
I want it out tomorrow.
Uh, does Dunbar know
you want to file a lawsuit?
He will soon enough.
Tommy, you know what this
could mean for us
and your partnership?
[tranquil music]
[Tommy] Oh.
They said I might find
you here.
Mind if I join?
- As long you can keep up.
- I might pull a hamstring.
Filed a complaint this morning,
- to a favorable judge.
- Thank you.
- We need to prepare.
- We will.
[Tommy laughs out of breath]
Thought you were some important
college football player.
I was an unimportant
football player.
And you were valedictorian?
An all-girls school.
You're probably not impressed.
[Tommy] I was 23rd in my class.
Believe me, I'm impressed.
- [Alejandra] Twenty-third?
- Hm-mmm.
Maybe I should find
a smarter lawyer.
Ha, she has a sense of humor.
Do you think I'm some sort of
humorless religious fanatic?
I think you're a woman of
impressive faith, Ms. Batista.
Call me Ally.
One last chance, Ally.
There's no shame in quitting.
Save your mother,
yourself, your friends,
all the heartache
that's coming your way.
I'm not afraid.
It's God's will.
[whispers] God's will.
Cardinal Sierra.
Yes, I just got it.
I agree, this is...
Yes, I will have local counsel.
Yes, I will be there as well.
- And can I just say that...
- [phone cuts off abruptly]
[phone beep]
[Dunbar] Yeah.
Get over here right now.
[door slams shut]
[Tommy clears his throat]
- Sit over there.
I think we have
a strong case, sir.
The Catholic business leaders
who called to complain
this morning,
just want this to go away.
And if you recall, that's why
I assigned this case to you.
I appreciate that, sir.
But our client, Ms. Batista,
I don't think she'll settle...
[Dunbar] You're a settler.
That's what I told you to do.
But, you also said
that we owe a favor
to one of our
highest paying clients.
I'm in a catch-22, sir.
You wanna make partner?
[Dunbar] Tommy,
do you wanna make partner?
Then figure it out.
[tranquil music]
[Dunbar] And settle this.
[Alejandra shouts]
Stop! Ah!
[Alejandra screams] Help!
You'll be punished
for your disobedience.
[Father John] Hey! Hey!
[Alejandra shrieks]
- Hey, hey! Come here!
Sister, are you okay?
I am.
[Father John]
I need some help here!
I need some help!
Are you okay?
- What happened?
- She'll be fine.
[Alejandra] A man attacked me
and said he'd punish me
for my disobedience.
I'm a little shaken up,
but I'll be all right.
The Lord is my light
and my salvation.
It's not safe here, Ally.
We gotta get you out of here.
Silk, get a picture of that.
Send it to me.
Yeah, it's Tommy.
May need your help.
[suspenseful music]
[car approaching]
Your Eminence.
It is unfortunate
that these events have occurred.
Yes, I'm afraid so.
[Cardinal Sierra] So...
What will be do about this?
I have a pretrial conference
before the judge.
I also just found out
that Ms. Batista was attacked
in the church.
- Is she all right?
- [Enrico] I don't know.
But we will be blamed for this.
They would portray us
as the bad guys in any event.
Just make sure
this doesn't turn into a circus.
I understand.
I interviewed a half a dozen
Catholic theologians
who do not support
the church's position
on male only priests.
A couple of women
even went to the Vatican
and challenged the Pope.
[Jane] Any candidates?
They've all been defrocked
over it.
[Tommy] No Catholic scholars.
Renzulli will just
dismiss their views
as rants of a rogue group.
Then what do we present?
I'm not sure yet.
Talking settlement?
Why not? I thought Dunbar
was gonna stab me
with his pruning shears
for filing a suit.
[Jane] But unless
the church backs down,
I don't see how we settle.
[Tommy] Gotta try, right.
If they don't back down,
maybe we can meet
Dunbar halfway.
I know that I'm the last person
in this firm he wants at trial.
Tommy, Ms. Batista
isn't gonna settle.
[Tommy] I have to get
to the courthouse.
[Silk] Hm-mmm.
Go get 'em.
Always do, partner. Hey...
do you mind checking on Ally?
See if she needs anything.
[bright music]
- Enrico Renzulli.
- Thomas Reilly.
Is your client here?
[Tommy] Not until the trial.
If there's a trial.
[courthouse bailiff] All rise!
Court is in session.
[bailiff] The Honorable
Judge Watford presiding.
No talking.
Anyone using
any electronic devices,
will be escorted out.
You may now be seated.
We are here on the matter
of Batista versus
the Archdiocese of New Orleans
and Bishop Cardinal Jose Sierra.
Is plaintiff's counsel present?
Thomas J. Reilly.
Law Offices of Finlay
and Dunbar.
[Judge] And defense counsel?
For the Archdiocese
and Cardinal Bishop Jose Sierra,
Monsignor Enrico Renzulli,
counsel of the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops.
[Judge] Counsel,
please approach the bench.
Monsignor, I know you filed
a motion to dismiss
and you've each requested
oral argument.
Before I renew decision,
have you two
had a chance to speak?
No, Your Honor.
Well, Mr. Reilly,
due to the gravity of this case,
may I make a suggestion?
[Tommy] Yes, Your Honor.
I'm going to reserve decision.
I'd like to see you
back in here on Friday.
And let's say you show
the Monsignor some hospitality.
See if we can't come
to a resolution
before we go any further.
Counsel, step back.
[Judge] Defendant's motion
to dismiss
has been marked submit.
Parties will be back
in this courtroom on Friday.
[gavel bangs]
Looks like I'm buying.
[Enrico] No need.
Come by the Cardinal's home
for dinner this evening.
[solemn music]
[car alarm activates]
[Enrico] Thank you for coming.
[Tommy] Thanks for having me.
- Would you like a drink?
- Uh, sure.
- It's been a rough day.
- Bet it has.
So, how is your client
holding up?
[Tommy] She's strong.
she was just attacked.
You wouldn't know anything
about that, would you?
I'm not even going to dignify
that with a response.
[Tommy] How are your clients
holding up?
- They're bent.
- I'm sure.
Thomas, I'm glad the judge
asked us to get together.
I would like to work this out
before it's too late.
Too late for what?
[suspenseful music playing]
For you to turn back.
Is that a threat?
- No.
- Then, what is it?
[Enrico] Advice.
[Enrico] You see, Thomas,
you can't win this case
and that's a fact.
[Tommy] My client's commitment
is unwavering.
I hear you're allergic
to the inside of a courtroom.
[Enrico] You really
should make this go away
before you embarrass yourself.
Well, if you're ready to remove
the stained glass ceiling,
then, of course,
we are open to a settlement.
[Enrico] Not possible.
Not now. Not ever.
[Tommy] Okay.
I think we've established
our initial positions.
I'm surprised.
Does Kent Dunbar agree
that a settlement is impossible?
Mr. Dunbar and I both agree
that absent a better solution,
this case should be settled by
a jury of Ms. Batista's peers.
Even if you get past
my motion to dismiss,
she'd never be a priest. Period.
So, my question is,
"Why are you doing this?"
Because I believe
she has a case.
Are you a Catholic?
I've been hearing that
a lot lately.
I was raised Catholic.
[Enrico] Do you feel
any conflict of interest
in representing Ms. Batista?
[Tommy] I don't.
I accept the teachings of Jesus
as revealed in scripture.
That does not include
the man made rules
of cardinals and popes.
Have you ever heard the term
'cafeteria Catholic'?
A cafeteria Catholic
picks and chooses
what church teachings
he accepts,
but to be a Catholic,
one must accept
all the teachings.
Okay, look, if Judge Watford
sustains your motion
and throws us out, that's it.
If not, the media's
gonna beat this to death
and I don't believe
either of us want that.
No, we don't.
I put on two witnesses only.
Ms. Batista plus
Dr. Sylvia Touran.
It's a psychologist
appointed by the Archdiocese
to screen potential seminarians.
Who do you expect of me?
You put on
Bishop Cardinal Sierra.
You'll be relying solely
on your cross examination
of Archbishop Sierra to prove
that the church's position
is unreasonable?
[Tommy] That's right.
[sinister music playing]
[camera shutter clicking]
[photographer] Oh, hey.
Hey, there's a camera.
I'm with the C1 News Agency.
I don't care where you work.
You're gonna get out of here.
Do you understand me?
[tram bell ringing]
[phone rings]
- Hello.
- Nicki, it's Tommy.
I was, I was
just thinking about you.
Want to see
what you're up to tonight.
[Nicki] Why?
[Tommy] Cause I miss you, baby.
[Nicki scoffs]
Cut the crap!
Tommy, what do you want?
Look, I got a big day at court
Friday and I wanted to see
if you could be there for me.
No. No, you don't need
anybody, Tommy.
That's your whole problem.
[phone ringing]
I have to take this call.
Can we talk later?
- Hello?
- [Silk] Tommy.
The press have found Ally.
I'll be right there.
[suspenseful music]
You okay?
I'm fine.
Do you mind taking her bag
to the car?
Are you absolutely sure that you
wanna continue down this path?
There's no shame in settling.
[Tommy] This kind of case
brings the nuts out of hiding.
I'm not afraid.
And I told you I'm not settling.
It's God's will.
You can't fault a guy
for trying to protect you.
Let's go.
[traffic noises]
[protesters shouting]
Jane, let us out right here.
[Enrico] This case is an attack
on religious freedom.
And on the more
than one billion Catholics
around the world.
The church is confident
that God's will shall prevail.
[protesters chanting]
[reporter] Excuse me.
Why are you doing this?
I think that's clear.
[reporter] Mr. Reilly,
do you think
you really have a case?
I'm not even gonna answer that.
What's the matter?
That's [unintelligible].
That's the guy from the picture.
- No, no. That's the guy.
- Come on.
[Tommy] Hey!
- [reporter] Oh, excuse me.
- Ma'am, excuse me.
- Can you answer more questions
- Excuse me. Let me...
- about the case, please.
- [Silk] Excuse me.
[suspenseful music]
[music fades out]
He got away.
He ran up an alley.
- We'll get him.
- Mm-mmm.
Let's sit.
Will the counsel
please approach the bench?
Did we work anything out?
[whispers] Yeah.
Okay, let's go.
On the docket this morning
is a hearing on a 12B6 motion
to dismiss filed
by the defendants.
A motion, uh, Monsignor,
it's your motion.
Your Honor, it is our position
that the plaintiff is attempting
to insert the government
into the defendant's
religious practices,
which has no precedent
in American law.
Uh, even if
the Church's protection
under the first amendment
would cause the infringement
of the plaintiff's equal rights.
[Enrico] Your Honor,
enforcing her rights,
would infringe upon
the Catholic Church's rights
under the Constitution.
Is it your opinion
that the Civil Rights Act
is unconstitutional?
No, Your Honor, not the Act.
But the application of the Act
in this instance,
would be.
[Judge] Do you have
anything else, Monsignor?
[Enrico] No, your Honor.
Mr. Reilly, it's your turn.
[chair scraping]
Your Honor,
there is no question
that the Catholic Church
is discriminating against women
by allowing admission
to a Catholic seminary to only,
and I quote, "unmarried males
who have been baptized
and confirmed
in the Catholic faith."
This is discrimination
on its face.
Maybe, but does the government
have a right to get involved
in their religion?
Your Honor, federal courts
assume jurisdiction
over the Church
of the Latter Day Saints
regarding their religious right
to polygamy.
[Tommy] The courts ruled
that the civil laws
against polygamy outweigh
the church's right
to the practice
under the first amendment.
There is no difference here.
Are you finished, Mr. Reilly?
Yes, Your Honor.
[Judge] Our forefathers drafted
some of the most poignant words
when they said,
"All men are created equal."
it did not include
men of color or women.
But as times change,
so must our interpretation
of how those words were drafted.
[Judge] To do that,
we look no further
than the Civil Rights Act
of 1964,
which overturned our
forefathers' original intent.
So, now the words
"all men are created equal",
includes all men.
But that legislation also
accomplished something else.
To include women.
[Judge] Since there is ample
precedent to assume jurisdiction
over the defendants
and a fact question exists,
I hereby deny
the motion to dismiss.
[bailiff] Quiet
in the courtroom.
[Judge] I'm prepared
to set this case for trial.
Quiet in the courtroom!
Keep it up
and I'll put everybody out.
[Enrico] Your Honor,
we take exception
as this is an issue
of first impression.
Exception noted.
Mr. Reilly, you recognize
that this court
will have the right to determine
whether a mandatory injunction
is justified?
Even if the jury determines
that the defendant's actions
are not justified.
Yes, Your Honor.
[Judge] Then this case is set
for trial 9 a.m. next Tuesday.
Due to the novelty of the case
and the disruption
in the court today,
these courtroom proceedings
will be closed to the public.
[crowd mutters dismay]
[disgruntled crowd shouting]
[reporter] Excuse me,
Mr. Dunbar, do you know
how much Tommy wants?
Please. Please, sir.
Just a comment would be great.
Do you have anything to say
about your personal stance?
What about Ms. Batista?
[people talking together]
- I know what you're saying.
- Great work y'all.
Great job.
A lot of hard work to do
and a tough road ahead.
But here's to Ally.
[together] To Ally.
[Tommy] Yeah.
[Alejandra] I'm ready.
Tommy, your mother's here.
How dare you?
In your whole life, you never
made a commitment to any woman.
Why now?
Mrs. Reilly, I'm Alejandra.
If you're gonna be mad
at anyone, be mad at me.
Mr. Reilly's just doing his job.
You have no right to do this.
[Alejandra] No disrespect,
but I not only have the right,
- I have the obligation.
- [Louisa scoffs]
[Tommy] Mom.
[somber music]
That is just the tip
of the iceberg.
Ms. Batista, excuse us, please.
Our clients, our paying clients,
are too frightened to come here,
because of the rowdy protesters.
I thought you'd be pleased that
we were set for a two-day trial.
Two days more than I wanted.
Clean this up.
[somber music]
I don't wanna cause you
any grieve with your family.
It's God's will, right?
[car honking]
[dramatic music playing]
[wheels squeaking]
What the hell is this?
[suspenseful music]
[Alejandra] Oh my God.
It's him.
[Alejandra mutters]
[Tommy] It's okay.
[Alejandra screams]
[Tommy] You okay?
[Alejandra] Yeah.
- Yeah.
- [Alejandra] Yeah.
He's gone.
Oh, thank God.
[Salma] Oh my God.
What happened, mija?
[Alejandra] I'm okay, mama.
[Salma] No, you aren't.
You had an accident.
[Mario] Mr. Reilly,
my daughter's life
is in your hands.
[Mario] And you're doing
a very lousy job protecting her.
I know, sir.
I've already gotten
more security.
[Mario] Do you see what
you've gotten yourself into,
I'm sorry, papa.
[machine beeping]
[voice over radio]
[suspenseful music playing]
[Mario whines]
[Judge] Mr. Reilly.
You may call your first witness.
[gentle music]
I call Dr. Sylvia Touran.
Your Honor, Dr. Touran
is a licensed psychiatrist
in the state of Louisiana.
Defense counsel acknowledges
that she is used by the Diocese
in interviewing applicants
to the seminary.
I respectfully request
that she's entered
in this court as an expert.
Dr. Touran, would you please
describe the process
by which you examine applicants
to the seminary?
We're looking
for two qualities:
The absence of pathology
and the presence
of good mental health.
We try to do this
in a face to face interview
and by written examinations.
[Tommy] Let's start
with the interview first.
What are some questions you ask?
[Sylvia] We ask about
past sexual experiences.
Such as, "When was
the last time you had sex?"
Three years or more
is the preferred answer.
- Last night, not so good.
- [people laugh]
[Tommy] And what about
some of the other examinations?
[Sylvia] All candidates
must take an HIV test...
and a number
of written examinations.
[Tommy] Based upon
your interview
and written examination
of Alejandra Batista,
did you form an opinion
about her fitness
to be an applicant
to the seminary?
Yes, I did.
[Tommy] And what is
that opinion, Dr. Touran?
[Sylvia] That she would be
a tremendous candidate
to the seminary.
No further questions,
Your Honor.
[Judge] Monsignor Renzulli.
Dr. Touran, are you Catholic?
Yes, I am.
As a Catholic and a woman,
what is your opinion
on whether a woman
should be a priest?
I don't have an opinion.
Surely in your work,
you've witnessed discrimination
against women.
- Is that true?
- [Sylvia] Yes.
[Enrico] Is the field
in which you work
dominated by men?
[Sylvia] Mostly,
but it's getting better.
As a woman who has succeeded
in a field dominated by men,
you're telling this jury
there's not just
a little part of you
that wants this plaintiff
to succeed
in her quest to be a priest?
Dr. Touran?
I like to see women succeed.
[Sylvia] Yes.
No further questions,
Your Honor.
[Judge] Mr. Reilly, redirect?
[Tommy] No, Your Honor.
[Judge] This court will adjourn
for lunch until 2 p.m.
at which time the plaintiff
will call their next witness.
[gavel bangs]
[bailiff] All rise.
[case clicking shut]
[crowd talking]
See you in the morning.
[Dunbar] You know,
I ask myself,
what is the Church's
strategy here?
I mean, hoping
for a motion to dismiss,
obviously was not a strategy.
[Enrico] We will win
this case on merits.
[Dunbar] Juries often have
a habit of interpreting merits
in unexpected ways.
Would you agree
the merits are on our side?
I try never to think of merits.
Only outcomes.
[Dunbar] That way
I'm rarely disappointed.
Do you have
a destination in mind?
[Dunbar] Where does
the church want to go
with this unnecessary exercise?
And let's have no talk
of winning and losing.
The church will never
let Ms. Batista be a priest.
Too bad, really.
- A highly qualified candidate.
- But she's not qualified.
I must represent
the Church's doctrine.
That's not what I'm really
trying to get at.
I was thinking more of a number
with more than
a handful of zeros.
[Enrico] What about the girl?
Bigger obstacle.
Perhaps not hopeless.
[Dunbar] If we're agreed,
I'll inform Judge Watford
of the possibility
of a settlement.
This court will adjourn
until Monday morning at 9 a.m.
[tranquil music]
Uh, Your Honor, may,
may we know why?
Uh, Your Honor, may...
That's okay.
[Tommy sighs] That's okay.
[smooth jazz music]
[knocking on door]
- Hey, baby.
- Hey, Tommy.
Look, Nick,
I thought about what you said.
And you're right.
I'm so sorry.
I do need you.
[man] Hey, Nick?
Sorry, Tommy.
[knocking on door]
Come in.
- Where's Tommy?
- [Dunbar] He'll follow up.
Ms. Batista, may I sit down?
[unsettling music]
[Dunbar] How have you been?
Faith by itself, if it does not
have works, is dead.
I believe that's James
chapter two verse 14.
If you look in your heart,
you'll appreciate
all the wonderful things
you can provide
for those in need.
But I could not be a priest.
[Dunbar] That's the one thing
you have to give up.
And if it makes a difference,
I believe you can get
several million.
It's interesting that the church
would be willing to spend
millions of dollars that,
as you suggest,
could be spent helping others,
just to keep one woman
out of the seminary.
No, no, I'm not saying
this offer's being made
by the church.
But let's say,
there are individuals
interested in making
this situation go away.
[Dunbar] We're gonna settle.
Renzulli's on board.
I can't believe you went to
Renzulli behind my back. -Mmm.
That's of no importance.
What is important,
is that win or lose,
Ms. Batista's gonna be
a novelty the rest of her life.
You wanna help that girl,
help her walk away
with millions of dollars.
She'll never go for it.
You never know
how someone will respond
till you ask the right question.
[unsettling music]
You talked to her.
You disappoint me.
What the hell happened to you?
We don't deal
in good guys and bad guys.
[Dunbar] She stuck to her guns
that happens to be
worth a lot of money.
Get it done.
Or forget about being partner.
[sad music]
[door squeaks open]
- I don't care about the money.
- Really? [laughs]
What about all the good
that you could do
with millions of dollars?
Isn't that a little selfish?
Maybe even a sin?
That which God had made me do,
had commanded or shall command,
I will not fail to do
for any man alive.
You know,
I never learned that one.
- Is it Matthew?
- No.
It's from Joan of Arc
to her interrogators.
Is this about vanity?
Are you bucking for sainthood?
What do you believe in
when you're alone in the quiet?
Making partner?
Then what?
Dispiriting sex
with the next random woman?
If you take away faith,
you take away the magic of life.
I'd rather die
than live that way.
I believe in something.
I believe in the law,
which is why I took your case.
Dunbar shoved my case
down your throat
hoping you'd settle it.
[Tommy] We both know this case
was never gonna settle.
But I'm here.
What do you believe in, Tommy?
What do I believe in?
I don't know.
[feel-good music playing]
Maybe I'm just hard headed.
You may be a little hard headed.
But you're definitely not
hard hearted.
Over the hill
Oh I am homeward bound
Far from the trail
But I will clear new ground
Over the edge
Try not to fall apart
Fell from my nest
But home is inside the heart
Running through fields
[song fades out]
[phone rings]
Hey, Ally, it's me.
Let's do this.
[church bell ringing]
- Sister Jean?
- Yes?
Willis Thompkins.
We spoke on the phone earlier.
Please, come have a seat.
[unsettling music]
[Sister Jean]
I've been thinking about
the sketch that you sent me,
and I do think it's Mr. Vargas.
What is his first name?
[Sister Jean] Vick.
Sister, please tell me
everything you know about him.
- Well, he lives down the street.
- Where?
The Quartermain apartments
on Poydras.
He used to come
to church regularly.
But not anymore.
He tried for the seminary.
But wasn't accepted.
He didn't handle it
very well, you know.
Mm-hmm. Thank you, Sister.
That was very helpful.
Thank you.
You're welcome
and God bless you.
[unsettling music]
[echoing voice speaking]
Are you the landlord here?
- Why?
- Is this where Vick Vargas lives?
Who wants to know?
I'm an investigative attorney.
Is he here?
Can you give me
a key to his room?
Second floor.
Last door on the left.
[door opens]
[door clicks shut]
[suspenseful music]
Hey, Tommy.
[stutters] Yeah,
I got some great news.
[Tommy] I could use that.
Our guy, he lives across
the street from the church.
[Silk] Yeah, one of the sisters
recognized him.
[Tommy] Under our noses
the whole time.
[Silk] I'm in his apartment
right now. Hold on.
This dude is Four Loko.
Got Ally's face plastered
all over his walls.
Only one problem, he's MIA.
- [Tommy] Find him.
- I'm on it.
Yeah well, I'm about
to call the cops.
I'm just gonna stay here
till they arrive.
There's tons of stuff
to sift through.
Tommy, be careful
in the meantime.
You're fired.
[Dunbar] Jane, take over
and let's get this settled.
[Tommy] This case is bigger
than you and me.
I'd like to continue to
represent Ms. Batista by myself.
If that's okay with you, Ally?
I'd like to proceed.
Most certainly.
Mr. Dunbar, you're fired.
[tranquil music]
Ms. Batista.
Did you apply to the
Archdiocese of New Orleans
- to attend the seminary?
- [Alejandra] Yes, I did.
Did they accept
your application?
They did not.
[Tommy] Did they say why?
I was told I didn't meet
the basic qualifications
for an applicant.
What are
the basic qualifications?
An applicant
must be a non-married male,
baptized and confirmed
in the Catholic Church.
[Tommy] Are you married
or have you ever been married?
[Alejandra] No.
[Tommy] Are you a Catholic,
baptized and confirmed
in the Catholic Church?
[Alejandra] Yes, I am.
[Tommy] So, the only reason
your application to attend
seminary was denied,
is because you are not male.
- Is that correct?
- [Enrico] Objection.
Question calls for a conclusion
of the witness not within
her scope of knowledge.
Mmm. Sustained.
Ms. Batista.
[Tommy] Could you tell the court
why you want to be a priest?
[Alejandra] I believe
it is my calling in life.
Whenever I expressed
that feeling, I was told,
"You can't be a priest.
You're a girl."
I never understood.
I am caring and committed
to the teachings
of the Catholic Church.
[Alejandra] As I've grown older,
that calling became stronger
and I know that I have
the spirituality,
the desire to help others.
And the dedication
to do God's work.
Ms. Batista.
Do you honestly feel that God
wants you to be a priest?
[Enrico] Objection.
Ms. Batista cannot possibly know
what is in the mind of God.
[Judge] Overruled.
Ms. Batista,
you may answer the question.
[Alejandra] Yes.
I firmly believe,
as firmly as I believe
in the Catholic faith,
that this calling
comes from God.
[Tommy] No further questions,
Your Honor.
[Judge] Monsignor Renzulli.
Ms. Batista,
if you are ordained as a priest,
are you aware
that you will take a vow
to obey all of the teachings
of the Catholic Church?
I am aware of that vow.
[Enrico] And are you aware
that the church teaches
that only males may be
validly ordained as priests?
[Alejandra] Yes, Monsignor.
Do you believe in the doctrine
the gender of priests?
No, I do not.
[Enrico] Then, how can you,
in all good conscience,
take the vow to obey
all the teachings of the church,
when you do not believe
in the validity
of one of
the church's basic doctrines?
if I'm ordained as a priest,
I would be both a woman
and an ordained priest.
That means the doctrine
of male only priests
is no longer taught.
I could readily take a vow
to obey
all church doctrines then.
[Enrico] Ms. Batista,
there's been a good bit of...
notoriety about your lawsuit.
[Enrico] Wouldn't you agree?
[Alejandra] Yes, I would.
[Enrico] It might make one
wonder how sincere you are
about your desire to be a priest
or whether you are
just seeking publicity.
[Tommy] Objection.
Counsel isn't asking questions.
He's lecturing the witness.
[Judge] Sustained.
Monsignor Renzulli,
please confine
your examination to questions.
You've testified that you've had
the calling to be a priest
since you were a child.
[Enrico] And you feel
that this calling is from God.
- [Enrico] Correct?
- Yes.
Why has it taken
so long to apply?
As you can see, Monsignor,
this is a difficult process.
I'm not a person
who seeks media attention.
Knowing what was coming,
I prayed long and hard
and looked into my heart...
to determine if...
by God's grace I could apply
to the seminary.
Do you believe that
by challenging God's church,
you are in His Grace?
If I'm not,
may God put me there.
And if I am, may God so keep me.
Ms. Batista,
are you aware that there are
many Christian religions
who would readily take someone
who is as dedicated
as you say you are
to be a priest or a minister?
- Yes.
- Then why did you not apply
to an Episcopal,
or another seminary,
instead of filing a lawsuit
against the Catholic Church?
Because I'm a Catholic.
And I wish to become
a Catholic priest.
You know Dunbar gonna lose it
if he know I was here. Right?
I've been up all night
searching Vargas' place.
I really could use your help
on this one, brother.
I got you.
Anything for you, bro'.
Anything for Ally.
[phone beeps]
They found something.
I, I'm heading back there.
[Silk] Hey.
- Hey, Tommy.
- I don't want that.
Take the gun, Tommy.
A gun, Tommy?
The jury
really responded to you.
[Tommy] They may not
understand your faith,
but they appreciate
your passion for it.
- Thank you.
- [Tommy] I mean it.
[Alejandra] Do you really think
I can convince people
who don't share my faith,
of what it means to me?
You convinced me.
[boat horn blowing]
[suspenseful music]
What did you guys find?
We gotta go.
Come on.
[phone vibrates]
Hey, Silk.
[Silk] Hey, Tommy.
He knows where she is.
You gotta get out of there.
I'm on my way.
Get out of there now!
[voice over the radio]
[cop] We need backup.
[cop] Go! Let's go!
[police sirens wailing]
[car alarm beeping]
We gotta get you outta here.
Vargas knows where you are.
It's okay.
It's okay. It's okay.
It's okay.
- Shhh. Let's get out of here.
- Shhh.
- [mumbles]
[dramatic music]
[Tommy] Don't move.
When the wicked advanced
against me...
Stay right there. will be
my enemies and foes...
- Tommy, please don't shoot him.
- [Vargas] ...and those
- who will stumble and fall.
- Tommy, please don't shoot him.
- Ally, get the hell outta here.
- I can only be...
- [Alejandra] No! Don't!
- Stop [unintelligible].
[Vargas] [unintelligible].
[Alejandra] Help!
- You must repent.
- Help!
- Help!
- [Vargas] [unintelligible].
[Vargas] I will [unintelligible] force
you until you renounce your sins.
And have begged God
for his forgiveness.
- Look!
- [Alejandra] Help!
[moaning and groaning]
[police sirens wailing]
[gunshot blares]
[Tommy] Hey! No, no, no, no.
Hey, hey. Hey, come here.
- Ally! Oh, Jesus!
- [Silk] Tommy!
[Tommy] Wake up. Hey!
[Silk] Tommy!
Oh God! Ally!
[Tommy] Jesus!
[Silk] Ally.
[Silk] Ally!
[melancholic music]
[clears his throat]
Everything's gonna be all right.
[Alejandra] No.
It's not ever gonna be
We shouldn't be doing this.
Maybe this is my punishment
for going against the church.
Maybe this is God's will.
No, Ally,
this is not God's will.
This is the work
of a crazed lunatic.
You're the bravest person
I ever met.
Don't doubt yourself.
[delicate music]
[Tommy] You weren't wrong.
We were wrong.
[Tommy whispers]
It's okay. It's okay.
I have to get ready for court.
I'm going to assume
that you've heard
that the plaintiff,
Alejandra Batista,
had a horrific night.
Luckily, she is now in recovery.
The man who abducted her
is a psychotic individual
who had no affiliation
with the defendants
in this case.
Do you understand this?
If so, please say yes.
- Yes, Your Honor.
- [Judge] Good.
We will now continue
with this trial.
Monsignor, are you ready
with your first witness?
[Enrico] Yes, Your Honor.
[Judge] He's already been sworn?
Yes, Your Honor.
[Judge] All right.
You may proceed.
The defense calls
Bishop Cardinal Jose Sierra.
Bishop Sierra,
why are unmarried women,
in the Roman Catholic Church,
not qualified
to become a priest?
It has been the teaching
of the Roman Catholic Church
since the time of Christ,
that all priests are male.
Is there a direct
scriptural reference
- for this teaching?
- [Bishop] No.
[Enrico] What is the foundation
for this doctrine?
Jesus chose only men
to be his disciples.
We follow the example
he set 2,000 years ago.
[Enrico] What were
the social conditions
for a woman in Palestine
and Jerusalem
during the time of Jesus?
It was a male dominated society.
Women were little more
than slaves.
[Enrico] So, he was following
the social norms of the times,
- correct?
- No.
[Enrico] Why not?
[Bishop] The priest
is the representative
of Jesus on earth.
Jesus was a man.
Therefore, priests are men.
Thank you, Bishop Sierra.
No further questions.
Your witness, Mr. Reilly.
[Tommy] Bishop Sierra.
You said there's no direct
scriptural revelation
to bar women
from the priesthood forever.
Is that correct?
In the context
in which I just stated it.
Yes, that's correct.
So, your testimony
is that the church relies upon
what Jesus didn't do
in appointing males only
as apostles.
- [Tommy] Is that correct?
- Yes.
[Tommy] If Jesus
was following the tradition
of the tribes of Israel,
which had an all-male hierarchy,
wouldn't it have made sense
to continue
this all-male hierarchy
in the appointing
of his apostles?
[Tommy] Let's talk about
some other social norms
at the time that maybe
Jesus might have followed.
All the apostles
probably wore beards, right?
[Tommy] But because Jesus didn't
appoint any clean shaven men
as apostles, that doesn't mean
the church now excludes them
from becoming priests.
- Does it?
- No.
Beards were
an incidental characteristic
- the apostles shared.
- Of course.
It would be ridiculous
to exclude men without beards
from the priesthood.
[Tommy] All the first apostles
were also Jews, weren't they?
Does the fact that he didn't
appoint any gentiles
to be among the first apostles,
mean that gentiles are barred
forever from the priesthood?
[Bishop] No.
When gentiles became
a larger part of the church,
gentile men
were ordained as priests.
I believe you also said...
that it was a social custom
at the time to not appoint women
to positions of leadership
since they were treated
"merely better than slaves".
Is that correct?
In a male dominated society,
yes, that's correct.
[Tommy] Now, the custom
of treating women
just a little better than slaves
has changed over time.
- Correct?
- It most certainly has.
[Tommy] Bishop Sierra,
I would like
to summarize your testimony
so that the jury and I
can make sure
that we understood you.
[Tommy] Jesus had 12 apostles.
All wore beards, all were Jews
and all were men.
As social customs changed,
the church decided that
all of those characteristics,
except one, were merely
incidental to the priesthood.
The male gender
being fundamental.
[Tommy] Why was the gender
of the original apostles
the only
fundamental characteristic?
Weren't they all the result
of the social customs
with the time which Jesus lived?
Monsignor Renzulli
objected to a question
that I asked Ms. Batista
about whether she knew
if God wanted her
to be a priest.
He said that there was
no possible way
to know what was in God's mind.
Yes, that's correct.
[Tommy] So, I ask you,
how can you and the men
of the Catholic Church
possibly know
what's in the mind of God
concerning the gender
of his priests?
[Bishop] The Pope has declared
that the priesthood
shall be limited
to the male gender
on the clear example of Jesus.
And that, Mr. Reilly,
is the will of God.
So say you
and the men of the church.
- But Jesus never said that.
- Objection.
- Mr. Reilly is making a speech.
- [Judge] Sustained.
Uh, Bishop Sierra,
you have ordained married males,
have you not?
I'm not sure what you mean.
Have you ordained
a married Episcopal priest
into the priesthood
of the Catholic Church?
- Yes.
- Well, don't the qualifications
for the priesthood require
the candidates to be unmarried?
The Pope has offered
a special dispensation
to ordain
married Episcopal priests
when circumstances warrant it.
The Episcopalian religion
also ordains female priests,
does it not?
[Bishop] Yes, I think they do.
[Tommy] Will the Catholic Church
ordain a female priest
of the Episcopalian religion?
Married or unmarried?
So, it is your testimony
that you and the Pope
and the other cardinals
will bend the rules to ordain
a married male Episcopal priest,
but you will not bend
those same rules for a woman
under the same circumstances
just because she is a woman?
- [Enrico] Your Honor, please.
- Never mind.
I withdraw my question.
We already know your answer.
[Tommy] No further questions,
Your Honor.
[Judge] This court will adjourn
until tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.
when we will hear
closing arguments.
[tranquil music]
I have God's mercy on my side.
[tranquil music crescendo]
[Judge] Mr. Reilly,
your closing argument.
It is with sadness
and outrage for me,
that my client,
Alejandra Batista,
would be abducted,
tortured and persecuted,
simply because she had a call
to do good in the world.
But you,
the members of the jury,
have an opportunity
to right those terrible wrongs.
And to pave way for something
that is right and natural.
[Tommy] You've heard testimony
that church dogma is infallible.
One dogma, is that men and women
are created equal.
[Tommy] Another,
is that only men can be priests.
Those dogmas
contradict each other.
What are we supposed to believe?
I believe
the evidence is so clear...
that the only answer
to the question,
"Do the defendants discriminate
solely based on gender?",
is a resounding yes.
And to the question,
"Do the defendants
have justifiable cause
to discriminate?",
is a resounding no.
[Tommy] As a little girl,
Alejandra Batista dreamed
of being a priest.
[Tommy] But the men
of the Catholic Church
have decided that
she can't pursue her dream.
That no woman can
ever be a priest.
No matter how qualified,
or how committed she is,
to the Catholic Church
and to God.
Let Alejandra Batista
have her dream.
[Judge] Monsignor Renzulli,
you may address the jury.
Thank you, Your Honor.
[Enrico] In order for you
to find that my clients
discriminate against women,
you have to believe
that the evidence shows
that they act
out of disrespect for women
and they don't want them
to be priests, no matter what.
But the testimony shows,
without a shadow of a doubt,
that the defendants
justifiably believe
that what they are doing
is a direction from the example
of Jesus Christ.
[Enrico] And so the answer
to the first jury question
must be...
What was the will of Jesus?
Catholic leaders
have prayed about it.
They've researched it.
Looked at it
in every way possible.
And they consistently answer it
as Christ would have
had them answer it.
They do
what is required of them.
By their faith.
By their belief.
And they cannot do otherwise.
[Enrico] The priesthood
is reserved for the male gender.
[Enrico] Therefore,
the only answer possible
to the second jury question,
is yes.
[delicate music]
[Enrico] Thank you.
[car honks]
[siren wails]
Hey, thanks for coming, man.
I know Dunbar would flip
if he knew you were anywhere
near this case.
Five hours is such a long time
for such a short trial.
[Tommy] Five hours
and 36 minutes,
but who's counting?
[Silk] Relax, Tommy.
It's like Ally says,
it's God's will.
No matter what the results are.
[phone rings]
[horn blowing]
[Tommy] Yeah. Thanks.
[Tommy] They're back.
Good luck, Tommy.
Ladies and gentlemen
of the jury,
have you reached
a unanimous verdict?
We have, Your Honor.
[Judge] Concerning
question number one,
do you find that the defendants
discriminate against women
solely because of their gender
by excluding them
from the seminary
in order to study
for the Catholic priesthood?
Yes or no.
Yes, Your Honor.
They discriminate against women
solely because of their gender.
[Judge] Concerning
question number two,
do you find that the defendants
have a justifiable basis
to exclude women
from the seminary
in order to study
for the Catholic priesthood
solely because of their gender?
Yes or no.
No, Your Honor.
They do not have
a justifiable basis
for discrimination.
[Judge] As the jury
has found for the plaintiff
on those two issues of fact,
it is left to me to grant
or deny a mandatory injunction
that requires the seminary
to accept Ms. Batista.
Am I gonna be a Catholic priest?
We won on both counts.
[Tommy] The church
discriminated against you,
because you are a women
and they had no
justifiable basis in doing so.
Thank God.
So, can I start the seminary
in the fall?
No, Ally.
I'm afraid you can't.
Why not?
After the verdicts,
Judge Watford has to decide
whether to grant what's called
a mandatory injunction,
forcing the church to allow you
to enter the seminary.
I remember.
An injunction's only available
if you have no other options.
If you want to become a priest
in a Christian religion,
several will accept you.
This is Renzulli's question
about why I didn't apply
to another seminary.
You have options.
So, the judge can't force
the Catholic Church
to accept you.
I'm sorry.
But we were right.
Yeah, Ally.
We were right.
Do you think I can work
with students again?
I'll see what I can do.
[children laughing and shouting]
[Alejandra shrieks]
- I missed you.
- I missed you.
Look what I'm wearing.
- I'm so happy.
- Yes!
I'm gonna come play with you.
[feel-good music]
I'm back.
Thanks to Renzulli.
Has anything changed?
But this allows us
to fight another day.
Let's go.
Let's go. Let's go.
[children chattering]
Everyone's okay?
[church bell ringing]
[church bell ringing]
[church bell ringing]
[mystical piano music]
[door slams shut]
[in Italian]