In Brisignano, an imaginary village in the Marche region, Don Celeste Restani, the upright local parish priest, is well liked by all the villagers, including the charcuterie worker Dario Ricciotti, who in a confession declares his homosexuality and asks the priest to unite him in marriage with a certain Marco, his friend.
On Carnival day, while in an isolated place in the countryside, Don Celeste is the victim of an attack by four masked girls, which is followed by a rape.
One of them, Paola Di Pietro, becomes pregnant.
For the clergyman, the age-old dilemma arises as to whether he should abandon his black cassock to marry the girl or denounce her, even though this would cause a scandal and consequent excommunication.
The parish priest will accept the son as a child of guilt, although he will not marry the girl and continue his priestly duties.