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Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God 2012

NR CC
4.5 out of 5 stars (55) IMDb 8.1/10

Alex Gibney explores the charged issue of pedophilia in the Catholic Church, following a trail from the first known protest against clerical sexual abuse in the United States and all the way to the Vatican.

Starring:
Alex Gibney, Terry Kohut
Runtime:
1 hour, 46 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Alex Gibney
Starring Alex Gibney, Terry Kohut
Supporting actors Gary Smith, Pat Kuehn, Arthur Budzinski, Lawrence Murphy, Richard Sipe, Scott Kuehn, Angela Kuehn, Patrick Wall, Bob Bolger, John Conway, Jim Heydendahl, Geoffrey Robertson, Jeff Anderson, Laurie Goodstein, Thomas Doyle, Robert Mickens, Marco Politi, Pope Benedict XVI
Studio Docurama
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hui Shen ben Israel TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 7, 2013
Format: DVD
MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD (HBO Films, 2012, 106 minutes, and by the way, "mea maxima culpa" is Latin and Latin dos not have accents) is one of those spectacular documentaries the type of which we're seeing too little these days. It took so long to get to DVD I can now only offer a sort of summarized review. I've only seen this film a few times when it originally aired exactly a year ago on HBO.

This consists mostly of direct interviews and actually follows a few dramatic, terrible events. Several middle-aged (and some "slightly beyond") deaf men (a tear-inducing posthumous video testimony left by Bob Bolger, along with Terry Kohut, Gary Smith, Pat Kuehn, and Arthur Budzinski) confront the priest (Lawrence Murphy) who ran their school for deaf children, St. John's School for the Deaf, in Wisconsin. This excellent film follows three or four primary subjects--men who want answers from the Catholic Church, from the bishops, and at the time this film was put together, wanted direct answers from the priest who raped them and more than 200 other boys at their school.

Fr. Murphy has even more than that to contend with: Fr. Richard Sipe, who arrived at the school as a counselor and filed complaints against Fr. Murphy dating back to at least 1950, tried to come to the kids' rescue. He was ignored his entire life. Several of the boys witnessed a shouting match between the two priests, able to only lip-read bits and pieces. It was their impression that Fr. Sipe almost seemed to be trying to exorcize Fr. Murphy--but they knew Sipe was confronting and threatening Murphy.

Of course, Fr. Murphy kept on raping boys at the school without a worry in the world.
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An interesting and shocking documentary focusing on the molestation of boys at a school for the deaf in Milwaukee by Roman Catholic priests. However, the film goes beyond this case and in a very interesting section of the film goes on to discuss the political situation in the Vatican under John Paul II and his successor Benedict which contributed to the covering up of abuse situations like the one at the school. In particular, the association and friendship of John Paul II with Maciel Degolado, the founder of the Legion of Christ and a serial sexual predator and drug addict is reviewed. Maciel's contribution of large cash donations from the wealthy religious order that he founded encouraged John Paul II to ignore the rumors surrounding Maciel. His successor, Benedict, was forced to confront the scandal only because Maciel's crimes finally claimed the attention of press investigations in both the U.S. and Europe. The documentary includes interviews with priests who describe how they reported molestation cases to the Church hierarchy only to find that the hierarchy was more interested in hiding these cases rather than actively intervening to stop the outrages that were occurring. Watching this documentary makes one wonder why John Paul II was declared a saint! He himself was not a molester but he apparently actively conspired to hide and/or ignore the many molestation cases that were occurring. Again, his association with Degolado is particularly damning. All in all, a very informative and shocking documentary well worth seeing.
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As one of the founding members of the Catholic Whistleblowers who has fought in the trenches to expose the sexual abuse of minors by clergy, I was greatly impressed by the well-balanced, well-researched presentation exposing the horrors that were committed, not only by a sick priest, but by all those involved in covering up his crimes and enabling him to continue molesting. Bravo -- and keep up the good work! It is only when the spotlight of truth shines on the dirty dark secrets that we can ever get the house of God cleaned.
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Mea Maxima Culpa is a documentary about Roman Catholic priests who molest children. The doc covers all the world but concentrates on deaf children at a deaf school. They are perfect victims as most of the parents were not signing parents so they didn't understand when the kids tried to tell them. The story even goes into Vatican secrets. Very good film.
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This was fantastic! My father was born and raised in Tuscany, Italy. He grew up in a small village (La Pieve di Monti di Villa) up in the mountains above Lucca. He was sexually molested by the priest in his village (as were many children in this small village). He tried to tell his parents and they responded with "Don't talk about the priest that way!" My father is now 83 and still suffers from this abuse. He has PTSD with extreme anxiety and depression and he has nightmares every night. The abuse my father endured by the priest in his village robbed him of any confidence and a happy life. It subsequently robbed me and my siblings of a competent, effective, and fully present father.

I learned a lot about the Catholic Church that I was not fully aware of and this helped to strengthen our decision to leave the Catholic Church about six months ago. We can no longer attend the Catholic Church with what we now know. I cannot support a system that practices denial and deception and does not protect children. It is like one big really, really dysfunctional, extremely sick family.
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