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The Boston Globe

Opinion

JOAN VENNOCHI

Rectifying ‘Philomena’

Just as Pope Francis promotes the image of a kinder, gentler Roman Catholic Church, along comes “Philomena” to remind the world of another chapter in church history that is anything but warm and fuzzy.

The movie — based on a true story — stars acclaimed British actress Judi Dench as an Irish woman named Philomena Lee who becomes pregnant at age 18 in the 1950s and is sent to a convent in Roscrea, Ireland, that takes in unwed mothers. She gives birth to a son, who at age 3 is adopted by wealthy American parents. Philomena has no chance to say goodbye. Watching her son peer out the back window of a departing car is her last glimpse of him.

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