Sex, Lies, and HBO Documentaries | David F. Pierre, Jr. | Catholic World Report
Mea Maxima Culpa is long on vitriol, short on facts
Catholic and non-Catholic moviegoers alike should be concerned about a new film that purports to document decades-old abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, created by HBO Productions, attempts to chronicle the Church’s response to the crimes of the notorious pedophile priest Lawrence Murphy, who is alleged to have abused dozens of innocent boys at St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wisconsin from the 1950s to the 1970s. The episode was the subject of a series of high-profile articles by the New York Times’ Laurie Goodstein during Lent of 2010.
The film also recounts the criminal episodes from a while back involving Irish priest Tony Walsh and Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ.
Indeed, the abusive crimes committed by the profiled priests were abominable. Murphy, Walsh, and Maciel wreaked immeasurable damage to their victims and brought tremendous shame to the Church. We always must be mindful of this.
In fact, one redeeming aspect of Mea Maxima Culpa is that the film allows the victims themselves to effectively describe the grievous harm and criminal activity that was perpetrated upon them and the devastating impact that the abuse had on their lives. The stories from Murphy’s victims are at the same time stomach-turning, heart-rending, and maddening. In this sense, the film has delivered an important service to viewers.
The agenda creeps in
However, the film takes the unfortunate yet predictable turn in simply using the scandals as a tool to advance a nasty anti-Catholic agenda.