14 February 2013 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Alex Gibney's documentary – claiming sex abuse in the Catholic church is endemic – serves as a sharp rebuke to Joseph Ratzinger

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

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