m e a  m a x i m a  c u l p a  :  s i l e n c e  i n  t h e  h o u s e  o f  g o d

getting away with it...
getting away with it...

Prolific documentary producer Alex Gibney turns his unflinching eye on one of the most skin-crawling cover-ups of recent times. And shows that it's not even that. It's the most skin-crawling cover-up of ALL times....

Full disclosure time again. broken shark are both atheists. There, we've come out already. And not just fence-sitting 'we're not bothered' style atheists. You're actual proper, horrified by organised religion and baffled by the idea of a god, style atheists. Safe to say that watching Mea Maxima Culpa hasn't really helped with our issues with religion.

Gibney is in many ways religion's worst nightmare. He's not looking to make a point about organised religion or god. He is trying to get the truth out of the Church and to get as many people as possible to understand just how bad the cover-up was. He is intelligent, tenacious and curious.

His masterstroke on this was taking a giant canvas; the Church's systematic denial and cover-up of global scale child abuse by priests, and brings it home by concentrating on just a few, very brave and honest individuals. Concentrating on the pupils of a deaf school who were abused by Father Murphy, he allows people directly affected to tell their tale with brutal honesty.

Gibney then systematically follows the abuse and its attendant cover-up all the way back to its source - the Vatican. The story is at turns utterly repugnant, compelling, surreal and terrifying. The Church has yet to fully get to grips with the abuse that occurred and some of its attempts over the years to deal with it would be funny were it not for the subject - the priest who attempted to set up an island colony for priests who couldn't keep their hands off boys. It is terrifying because the man who headed up the Vatican's child abuse response team (for want of a better title) is of course, none other than the current Pope. 

We're unsure why this hasn't been nominated for any awards. Release schedule? Whatever the reason, you should see this film. And if you don't come out either furious or deflated by the Church's actions, we'll be praying for you.