Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
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Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
IDFA 2012

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

Alex Gibney
United States
106 min
Festival history
Sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church was already taking place in the fourth century A.D., as is demonstrated by documents safely archived within the walls of the Vatican. Nevertheless, big scandals have only emerged in recent decades, and have led to large financial settlements. The point of departure for this documentary is the abuse of young boys by a priest at an American school for the deaf in the 1960s. Victims relate how Father Murphy molested them and how difficult it was to talk about. No one believed them, as the position of the priest was unassailable. Composed of interviews, excerpts from letters and archive footage, the story provides a broader framework: for many years, the Church downplayed or simply covered up the sexual crimes of its priests from Ireland to Italy. Before becoming Pope, Benedict XVI was assigned to investigate abuse, but took little effective action. He just seemed shocked that priests could commit such crimes and showed little compassion for the victims. Nevertheless, there are also many priests who are critical of the hierarchical structure of the Church, of celibacy and the sexual sins it can lead to.
Screening copy
    Kew Media Group
    Kew Media Group
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    Kew Media Group
    Kew Media Group