Heresy of Love / Eresia d’Amore

Director/Writer: Marialuisa “Malù” Greco, in a coproduction with Videoplugger, Country: Italy/UK , Language: Italian, documentary, in production, Territories: World 

It was 1963 when don Franco Barbero, a young priest from Turin, met for the first time a couple of believers who told him about a different kind of love. From the astonishment and the deep crisis, don Franco went through a decade long time of profound reflection that led him to change history forever: Francesco and Roberto, Italians now living in Spain, were the first homosexual couple united in marriage by don Franco in Italy.

A documentary on the former priest who married 300 same-sex couples

For this reason, in 2003, Pope Giovanni Paolo II relieved him of his ministry and reduced him to the lay state. This decision was rejected by his fellow priests, who still call him “Father”, and by his community, which sees
him as a point of reference and a spiritual guide. Considered as heretic by the Vatican and the official Church, don Franco has always firmly believed in Christ’s teaching “who, by the way— he says — has never excluded anyone from his Church”.

He is now over 80 years old, and far from retirement: he spends his days in a small house on the hills of Turin with “Fiorellino”; (IT: little flower) —a love that, respectfully, he did not hide even during his priesthood, the woman he has been married to since the day after his excommunication and thanks to whom he can understand and practice love for Christ and for human beings much more deeply than any other colleague forced into celibacy—engaging in studies, writings, spiritual paths, and prayers but, above all, dedicating himself to the dialogue, the listening and the acceptance through meetings, debates and reflections about religion published everyday on his blog. Furthermore, don Barbero has not stopped blessing the love that the official Church considers heretical: next spring, in fact, he will marry Lucien (who, as don Barbero, fell in love during his priesthood) and Camille newly parents, who live in France.