Mea Maxima Culpa

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Mea Maxima Culpa

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.

Winner of three prime-time Emmy’s, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God is a 2012 documentary film directed by Oscar winning Alex Gibney. The film details the first known protest against clerical sex abuse in the United States by four deaf men.

Alex Gibney examines the abuse of power in the Catholic Church through the story of four courageous deaf men, who in the first known case of public protest, set out to expose the priest who abused them. Through their case the film follows a cover-up that winds its way from the row houses of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, through the bare ruined choirs of Ireland's churches, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican.

Critic Reviews

‘A kind of unintentional leaving gift for the outgoing Pope Benedict, though it is not one he is likely to relish.’ Guardian

‘The case has been widely reported but this is still an important film, laying out who knew what, and when. It's chilling: the conspiracy of silence goes all the way to the Vatican.’ Time Out

‘In the end, decades of such crimes going undetected and undeterred under the aegis of one employer - any employer - speaks for itself. And the extraordinary perseverance and courage of the men from St. John's speaks louder still.’ New York Post

‘There is something to be said for a clear and unblinking recitation of facts, and thankfully Mr. Gibney does a lot of that.’ New York Times


Primetime Emmy Awards 2013, Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming, Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming.

Irish Film and Television Awards 2013, winner of Best Feature Documentary

London Film Festival 2012, winner of the Grierson Award

The Television Academy Honors 2014, winner of the Television Academy Honors