Catholics (film)

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Directed byJack Gold
Produced byBarry Levinson
Sidney Glazier
Written byBrian Moore
StarringMartin Sheen
Trevor Howard
Raf Vallone
Cyril Cusack
Music byCarl Davis
CinematographyGerry Fisher
Edited byAnne V. Coates
  • United Kingdom[1]
  • United States

Catholics is a 1973 television film also known as Conflict, A Fable of the Future [2] and The Visitor was directed by Jack Gold.[3] Based on the novel of the same name by Brian Moore, who also wrote the screenplay for the film, it stars Trevor Howard, Martin Sheen and Cyril Cusack[3] and was originally presented on the ITV Sunday Night Theatre.

The film is rated 4.5 out 5 stars in DVD & Video Guide 2007.[4]


Brian Moore's original novel was written in 1972. The film is set in the then futuristic year of 2000.[5]

In defiance of the Sacrosanctum Concilium from the edicts of the Second Vatican Council, and a future Fourth Vatican Council, a group of monks from a monastery located on an island offshore the Republic of Ireland conducts the traditional Tridentine Mass in Latin on the Irish mainland. These traditional masses are so popular that groups from all parts of the world make pilgrimages to attend the masses and express their displeasure at the changes in the Roman Catholic Church. This future Vatican Council also destroys the mystery of the Mass, denies Transubstantiation, and insists that priests only wear clerical clothing on ceremonial occasions.

The Vatican is outraged at the beginnings of a potential counter reformation, particularly when an upcoming Interfaith dialogue is about to take place in Singapore. The Father General sends out Father Kinsella, a strong adherent of Liberation theology to order the monks to change their ways or face transfer to other monasteries.



The film was shot on Sherkin Island with many interiors shot in Cahir Castle.[6]


  1. ^ Catholics: A Fable of the Future, British Film Institute
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Roberts, Jerry (2009). Directors A-L. Encyclopaedia of Television Directors, vol 1. The Scarecrow Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-8108-6378-1. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  4. ^ Martin, Mick, and Porter, Marsha (2006). DVD & Video Guide, Ballantine Books, p. 184. ISBN 0-345-49332-X. Retrieved 10 December 2016
  5. ^ p. 458 Malone. Peter Screen Priests: The Depiction of Catholic Priests in Cinema, 1900-2018 ISD LLC, 19 Aug 2019
  6. ^ p. 198 Pettigrew, Terence Trevor Howard: A Personal Biography P. Owen Publishers, 2001

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