In SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD: MEA MAXIMA CULPA Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney exposes the abuse of power in the Catholic Church and 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. By investigating the secret crimes of a charismatic priest who abused over 200 deaf children in a school under his control – the film shows the face of evil that lurks behind the smiles and denials of authority figures and institutions who believe that because they stand for good they can do no wrong.
The film documents the first known public protest against clerical sex abuse in the U.S.A., a struggle of more than three decades that ultimately led to a lawsuit against the Pontiff himself. These heroes, four deaf young men, set out to expose the priest who had abused them and so many others by trying to make their voices “heard”. Their investigation helped to uncover documents from the secret Vatican Archives that shows the Pope – who must operate within the mysterious rules of the roman Curia – as both responsible and helpless in the face of evil.