Factual distortion … Misleading claims … Bigoted sources … Here is the definitive review of Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, a new film by Alex Gibney, scheduled to begin airing on HBO on February 4.
Gibney's documentary purports to chronicle the stomach-turning case of deceased Catholic priest Rev. Lawrence Murphy, who reportedly abused dozens of students while working at St. John's School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wisconsin, from 1950 to 1974. Indeed, there can be no doubt that Murphy wreaked immeasurable harm upon his innocent victims.
However, after thoroughly studying the film, TheMediaReport.com's Dave Pierre has commented:
"Considering the vast media coverage over the issue in the past two decades, the topic of sex abuse in the Catholic Church is certainly worthy of an honest and compelling documentary. Sadly, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God does not qualify as one. The film is so consumed by its desire to browbeat the Catholic Church that honesty, fairness, and perspective have been lost.
"Mea Maxima Culpa is an anti-Catholic broadside masquerading as a documentary. Except for the courageous victims who are profiled, Alex Gibney has assembled one of the largest collections of reckless malcontents and Church bashers ever gathered in one film.
"Gibney and HBO should be embarrassed. The number of outright falsehoods and misleading claims in his film about Church history, teaching, and operations are astounding."
Despite repeated requests, Gibney declined to be interviewed by TheMediaReport.com.
Our detailed review of 'Mea Maxima Culpa':
• Here We Go Again: Trailer For Upcoming Film Rehashes 2010 Smear by NY Times Against Pope Benedict
(August 21, 2012 :: **Our most basic overview/primer, based on the trailer**)
• Sex, Lies, and HBO Documentaries: Mea Maxima Culpa is long on vitriol, short on facts
(Catholic World Report, Nov. 9, 2012)
• A Response to Alex Gibney About 'Mea Maxima Culpa'
(Catholic World Report blog, Nov. 14, 2012)