22 user 55 critic

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (2012)

TV-14 | | Documentary | 16 November 2012 (USA)
Alex Gibney explores the charged issue of pedophilia in the Catholic Church, following a trail from the first known protest against clerical sexual abuse in the United States and all the way to the Vatican.


Alex Gibney


Alex Gibney
Won 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Alex Gibney ... Self - Narrator (voice)
Terry Kohut Terry Kohut ... Self - St. John's School for the Deaf, 1960-1969
Gary Smith Gary Smith ... Self - St. John's School for the Deaf, 1954-1970
Pat Kuehn Pat Kuehn ... Self - St. John's School for the Deaf, 1969-1973
Arthur Budzinski Arthur Budzinski ... Self - St. John's School for the Deaf, 1953-1964
Lawrence Murphy Lawrence Murphy ... Self - priest, St. John's School for the Deaf, 1950-1974 (archive footage)
Richard Sipe Richard Sipe ... Self - Former Benedictine Monk / Mental Health Counselor
Scott Kuehn Scott Kuehn ... Self (archive footage)
Angela Kuehn Angela Kuehn ... Self (archive footage)
Patrick Wall Patrick Wall ... Self - Former Benedictine Monk (as Patrick J. Wall)
Bob Bolger Bob Bolger ... Self - St. John's School for the Deaf (archive footage)
John Conway John Conway ... Self - Counselor for the Deaf
Jim Heydendahl Jim Heydendahl ... Self - Senior Boys' Dorm Supervisor, 1972-1974
Geoffrey Robertson Geoffrey Robertson ... Self - Human Rights Lawyer (as Geoffrey Robertson QC)
Jeff Anderson Jeff Anderson ... Self - Attorney for Gary Smith & Terry Kohut


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. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film won 3 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming, Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming and Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. See more »


The narration states "In 1929, a cardinal, soon to be Pope Pius XI, signed the Lateran Treaty with the Fascist government of Mussolini to create the Vatican State." Actually, in 1929, Pius XI was already pope, having been elected in 1922. See more »


Referenced in See Hear: Episode #32.36 (2013) See more »

User Reviews

Sexual abuse of power
4 July 2013 | by lreynaertSee all my reviews

Alex Gibney's movie is an extremely well researched documentary about pedophilia in the Catholic Church. Sexual abuse by priests went on for a long time. But, nobody had the courage to speak openly about it. The power of the Church in Catholic countries was too overwhelming. If you criticized the clergy, you could lose your job. Alex Gibney's movie illustrates the silence on and of the Church with the unacceptable behavior of a priest in a School for the Deaf in Wisconsin, a formidable sexual abuse of power. For a long time, all complaints were swept off the table. But, when the facts were openly exposed in the media, a flood of new abuse cases followed, which would cost the Catholic Church billions of dollars. Alex Gibney's movie is an indictment of even the top of the Catholic Church. All complaints about pedophilia in the Church went to the desk of the former pope Benedict XVI, when he was dean of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. He did nearly nothing with them. This scandal shocked the whole Catholic Church. It lost the trust of its parishioners, leaving its churches nearly empty. Moreover, the number of vocations fell dramatically. In one word, the Catholic Church is dying. Alex Gibney's dramatic movie is a terrible document about one of the greatest religious scandals ever, which put even the pope, the representative of God on earth, in a very bad light. A must see.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

16 November 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God See more »

Filming Locations:

Vatican City See more »


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed