On February 4, HBO premiered Alex Gibney's Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, a brilliant and infuriating documentary exploring the epidemic of priestly sex abuse at a Milwaukee's St. John's School for the Deaf in the '60s, and drawing damning conclusions about the conspiracy of silence mandated by the Vatican. Here's the trailer:
It's an amazing movie, which will soon get a theatrical release, The heroes of this film—the now middle-aged former students/sexual abuse survivors from St. John's School for the Deaf—need to be seen by as many people on as many screens as possible. For now, two things:
*The doc exposes Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the Vatican's foremost authority on sex abuse allegations made against the church, then shows how Ratzinger did nothing with his extensive knowledge of the problem once he became Pope.
*With the pope's resignation landing one week after the premiere of Mea Maxima Culpa, it's tempting to somehow link the two events, imagining that Ratzi somehow watched the doc and resigned out of disgust and disappointment with himself, or watched the doc and resigned out of fear of an impending shitstorm. However, being pope provides Ratzinger—the head of the "state" of the Vatican—with a ton of legal protections against any and all shitstorms, and I don't like to imagine the Vatican makes history-altering decisions based on HBO's broadcast schedule.
Whatever the case, please watch Mea Maxima Culpa as soon as you can.