Silent no more

Like everyone, I was surprised by the news of the Pope’s resignation.

But how did I miss the documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God?

mea-maxima-culpa-silence-in-the-house-of-god-470-75It was released in November of last year. But yesterday’s headlines from Rome brought director Alex Gibney’s film back to the forefront. It’s available on HBO OnDemand, so I’ve already watched it.

What a revelation.

Gibney examines pedophilia in the Catholic Church, beginning with the first known clerical sexual abuse at a deaf school in Milwaukee in the late 1950’s, and traces it all the way to the Vatican.

Of particular interest, the documentary documents the role Benedict played in the sex-abuse scandals — both as a bishop in Germany and as Cardinal Ratzinger, where he headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles such cases.

Under his leadership, the church shielded priests accused of child molestation and hid their behavior from the authorities, obstructing criminal prosecution.

It’s not an easy film to watch, but the bravery of these deaf students — now grown men — is inspiring.

Their voices have finally been heard.

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