Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God – United States – Alex Gibney

This film is a documentary that begins with the attempt by four men to confront the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of a Catholic priest while children at a School for the Deaf in Wisconsin in the 1970’s. It goes far beyond that however as the director suggests this is the incident that opened the door on sexual abuse within the Church and the efforts of the Vatican to hide or deny it. The interviews with the four victims are very moving and this is interspersed with interviews with priests and clergy who either were instrumental in exposing the problem and those who worked to hide it and all those in between. It is a complex and difficult issue to pick apart but the director does a superb job. Chilling and yet intriguing we hear from a Canon law prosecutor/priest who to this day continues to bring charges against the guilty clergy, a Benedictine monk who treats the perpetrators and the victims, a retired priest who once covered up for the guilty, a gay archbishop who tried to intervene but backed away when his own misdemeanours were exposed and on and on. But ultimately this film is about the victims and the courageous fight they still wage to bring the Church to acknowledge its crimes and act with dignity to the victims rather than the priests who committed these crimes against those entrusted to them.

Mea Maxima Culpa

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