'The sister of a young priest fresh from convent meets Dr Sydney Burton, a playmate of early years, and the pair fall In love. Burton is a Protestant and the girl's father when asked to consent to the marriage gives an emphatic "No" with parental indignation. He orders Burton away, and forbids him to come to the home in the future. His dictum to the contrary, the young people do meet, and the old man aware of this, engages a creature, one Mike Feeney, to watch the doctor and report his movements. Fenney is a miserable rake who will do anything for money, and quarrels with the old man over the amount to be paid and strikes him a fatal blow. Feeney promptly decamps. Burton as happens, passes the spot soon afterwards, and stumbles across the prostrate form. His explanations do not help him. He is tried, sentenced to death. Feeney, who seems never to have been sought out, is later knocked over by a car, and it is apparently when on the verge of death that he confides the truth to Father Shannon. Feeney recovers from his injury and then will not acknowledge his guilt, and binds Father Shannon to the secrets of the confessional. Whereupon the noble priest, rather than see the innocent hung, takes upon himself the respensibility for the crime and secures Burton freedom. Haunted by his evil conduct, Feeney, in the presence of the law's officer makes a clean confession and ends his life by plunging a dagger into his side. The priest eventually marries the young couple behind the altar and all ends happily.'
'The Church and the Woman', Townsville Daily Bulletin, 16 April 1918, p.3.
Distributor Hubert Pugliese did not originally release the film as an adaptation of Edmund Finn's novel, but both the Equity Court of New South Wales (which granted Finn an injunction) and the Supreme Court (which upheld the original ruling despite Pugilese's protests, ruled that the film was clearly an adaptation.
The latter, in particular, noted that:
'Upon a comparison of the scenario and the novel "A Priest's Secret," continued his Honor, it was beyond question clear that the scenario was taken directly from, and was a reproduction of the novel. Not only were the main incidents of the plot identical with those in the novel, but long passages occurred in the scenario taken verbatim from the novel, and it would be noted that in one passage, occurring on page 7 of the scenario, Longford, who produced the picture, by error used the name "Martin" when speaking of the character in his scenario, "Mike Feeny," who was obviously taken and reproduced from the character, "Martin Sullivan," in the novel.'
Source: 'A Picture Film Case', Barrier Miner, 30 September 1918, p.1.