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By Jess Fenton
17th March 2013

Sexual abuse of minors within the Catholic church is a very real and sad fact. Victims start at the age of 7 years old, the age of indoctrination - but with some within the church campaigning to lower it, the grim reality is that the age of victims in the future could become as young as 5.

‘Silence in the House of God’ is a documentary that plays more like a horror film, delving into the ongoing and long-ignored atrocities, both physical and bureaucratic, committed by your simple local school priest all the way to the Vatican, including the recently retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Touted as being some of the first people to ever go public with their abuse, the stories of four boys (now men) from the St Johns school in Milwaukee, who suffered horrific and constant abuse and betrayal at the hands of Father Lawrence Murphy in the 50s 60s and 70s, is at the forefront of this film. The twist in this story is that all the St Johns students, and therefore victims, of Father Murphy are deaf. Targeted for having parents unable to sign and unable to tell of their suffering, these boys endured years of this treatment at the hands of a man they were taught to trust and who could do no wrong.


The victims finally coming together to go public, papering their community with ‘Wanted’ posters and confronting their abuser. However, the boys' cries were mostly ignored, save for a few. We see these men wait decade after decade for action to be taken, only to be met with legal roadblocks, Vatican powerplays and further manipulation from members of the church.

The film uses reenactments, home videos, testimonials and interviews from lawyers, journalists, priests, authors, academics and commentators from across the globe, almost all with first-hand knowledge and experience with either abuse themselves or the Vatican’s mishandling and favouritism towards its members and never the victims.

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney has assembled the most compelling indictment of the Catholic church.

Meticulously researched, award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (‘Freakonomics’) has assembled the most compelling indictment of the Catholic church, its hierarchy, the lengths of concealment, its payoffs and disgusting contempt towards the law, morality and the consequences of their power and actions.

Some may view this film as biased towards atheism, perhaps, but one cannot deny the strength of the subject and its growing incriminating evidence. There are atrocities committed daily, even hourly in this world, but pedophilia committed by priests may possibly be the worst. The supreme level of trust and power bestowed upon these men by the faithful only to have it abused, manipulated, and used against their victims is an indefinable crime that leaves so much destruction and devastation in its wake.

'Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God' is one of the most painful, powerful and important films you will ever see.

RELEASE DATE: 21/03/2013
RUN TIME: 01h 46m
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