2 items from 2013
Oscar-winning documentarist Alex Gibney's new film is a conspiracy thriller far more exciting and sinister than Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, which it closely resembles, and all the better for being true. The conspiracy is the Roman Catholic church's closing of ranks for 1,700 years to cover up the way priests have used their positions of sacred trust to assault young boys placed in their charge. It begins and ends in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Father Lawrence Murphy spent years abusing schoolboys as head of the St John's School for the Deaf and was never brought to book. In between, Gibney and his production team look into the notorious Irish case of Tony Walsh, "Singing Priest", Presley impersonator and serial abuser of both sexes, and the way the Vatican concealed the crimes of the outrageous Father Marcial Maciel, a senior associate of Pope John Paul II, before sending him »
- Philip French
Alex Gibney's righteous, exhaustive investigation into child abuse inside the Catholic church arrives in UK cinemas as a kind of unintentional leaving gift for the outgoing Pope Benedict, though it is not one he is likely to relish. In his former role as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger stands accused of knowing everything and doing nothing. On the rare occasions he was forced to publicly acknowledge the scandal lapping at his ankles, his concern was more for the fate of the priests than the children themselves.
The film's starting point is the case of Father Lawrence Murphy, a serial abuser at a school for the deaf in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who was eventually called to account by the boys in his care. »
- Xan Brooks
2 items from 2013
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