Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

Investigating the First Known Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal in the US

2013 | Running Time: 106 minutes | Rating: TV-14

Father Lawrence Murphy, a charismatic Milwaukee priest, abused more than 200 deaf children in a school under his control. Four former students set out to expose Murphy’s abuse of power, instigating the first known public protest of clerical sex abuse in the US. Following their case, which spans three decades, the film follows a cover-up that winds its way to the highest office of the Vatican and spotlights similar sex-abuse scandals in Ireland and Italy. The vocal talents of actors Chris Cooper, Ethan Hawke, Jamey Sheridan and John Slattery are employed to help tell the story of the four deaf men at the heart of the case. The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Filmmakers: Alex Gibney, Director/Producer; Sara Bernstein, Producer (Supervising: HBO); Nicoletta Billi, Producer (Italy); Trevor Birney, Producer (Ireland); Alexandra Johnes, Producer; Sloane Klevin, Co-Producer; Ruth O’Reilly, Producer (Ireland); Maureen A. Ryan, Producer (Re-creations); Kristen Vaurio, Producer; Jedd Wider, Producer; Todd Wider, Producer

Primetime Emmy Awards 2013: Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonficition Programming, Outstanding Writing for Nonficiton Programming
Primetime Emmys 2013: Outstanding Cinematography for Nonficiton Programming, Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special (Original Dramatic Score), Outstanding Directing for Nonficiton Programming (nomination)
Irish Film and Television Awards 2013: Best Feature Documentary
London Film Festival 2012: Grierson Award
Peabody Awards 2014; The Television Academy of Honors 2015
Chicago International Film Festival 2012: Gold Hugo – Best Documentary (nomination)
Cinema Eye Honors Awards 2014: Outstanding achievement in nonficition filmmaking for television (nomination)
Hong Kong International Film Festival 2014: Documentary (nomination)
Humanitas Prize 2013: Documentaries – Special Awards Category (nomination)
Writers Guild of America 2013: Best Documentary Screenplay (nomination)


“The film shocks you to the marrow, and every frame burns with a righteous fire, itself religious in its intensity.”

THE TELEGRAPH