Another devastating week for the RC Church as more of its criminality is exposed

MEA Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God is a film by Oscar winner Alex Gibney which documents a decades-old effort to protect and in some instances seemingly aid sexually predatory priests –  a conspiracy, the film argues, that snakes through every level of the Roman Catholic hierarchy including the current and past Popes.

A still shot from Mea Culpa

A still shot from Mea Culpa

The documentary, which premieres tonight (Monday) in the US, comes just days after the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles released documents chronicling how Cardinal Roger M Mahony and other church officials managed to thwart investigations into the sexual abuse of hundreds of local children to protect the accused priests.

Last week, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles released documents chronicling how Cardinal Mahony and other church officials managed to thwart investigations into the sexual abuse of hundreds of local children to protect the accused priests.

The LA Times‘ Mary McNamara says the film “is not perfect”. But:

By meticulously stitching together timelines, documents and interviews with a wide variety of sources, Gibney effectively depicts a history of widespread corruption. Recent revelations, which chillingly mirror those of the film, make Mea Maxima Culpa that much more devastating and important.

The narrative is framed by the first known case of a priest being publicly accused of molestation — Father Lawrence Murphy of Milwaukee’s St. John’s School for the Deaf. There, we learn through the signed testimonials of four former pupils — Terry Kouhut, Gary Smith, Pat Kuehn and Arthur Budzinski — the boyish and beloved priest systematically raped and abused more than 200 pupils during his unstoppable 24-year tenure.

McNamara adds that by using the Murphy case as a scaffold, the film attempts to follow the inner workings of what would eventually become an international scandal. Interviewing church psychologists, non-predatory priests and former priests, Vatican scholars and journalists, Gibney’s film describes a system in which a near-deification of the ordained creates, as one church psychologist put it, “a perversion of power”.

The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue is beside himself with rage over the film, and thinks Pope Ratzinger should sue Gibney:

It’s too bad Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t sue Alex Gibney for libel. In an interview posted today on The Daily Beast, he calls the Pope “a criminal.” He is accusing Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now the Pope) of covering up the deeds of Father Lawrence Murphy, a priest who molested deaf boys in Milwaukee in the 1950s. Indeed, today’s New York Times advertises the HBO show by saying there was a ‘cover-up from rural America to the Vatican’.

The mark of a Catholic hater is to take dirty laundry and then add to it by offering a conspiratorial account. That’s what Gibney has done.

Meanwhile, another Catholic scandal – that of the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland – is back with a vengeance to haunt the Church.

Tomorrow  the findings of an investigation into state involvement in the laundries is to be published – but sensitive information disclosed to the McAleese committee, which has been carrying out the study, will not be published in the committee’s report.

Campaigners fear that that many of the survivors of the Magdalene laundries will be dead before the State compensates the estimated 1,000 women who were locked up by nuns.

On February 1, The Washington Times carried a horrifying account of the torture and abuse meted out to young women who fell into the clutches of the sadistic nuns that ran the laundries.

Unwed pregnant young women were sentenced to hard labor and their babies put up for adoption as they wept and begged to hold their child just one more minute before they became only a painful memory.

Physical, sexual and emotional abuse became rampant at these institutions. One survivor recounts that one day after school, she was sexually assaulted. Her mother called the police to report the rape and were stunned when police came and arrested the girl. A judge deemed the attack her fault and sentenced her to hard labor within a Magdalene Laundry.

Sinead O'Connor was a victim of the Catholic cruelty in a Magdelene Laundry

Sinead O’Connor was a victim of the Catholic cruelty in a Magdelene Laundry

At the age of fifteen, Irish singer Sinead O’Connor spent time in a Magdalene Laundry after she was arrested for shoplifting. She was trapped in intolerable conditions for eighteen months until her father secured her freedom. The physical and sexual abuse she suffered under the auspices of the Catholic Church propelled her career halting 1992 protest, where she ripped up a picture of the Pope following a performance on Saturday Night Live.

The Washington Times said that the Catholic Church has thus far denied any responsibility for the victims’ suffering.

The Vatican states that the institutions were privately run by the orders and did not answer to Rome. Only one of the orders involved in the Laundries has apologized.

The Catholic Church has locked away information regarding the Laundries, making it inaccessible to victims, their families, or the press.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

44 responses to “Another devastating week for the RC Church as more of its criminality is exposed”

  1. Angela_K says:

    It is an outrage that some evidence will never become public but I expect we’ve seen it all before. Anything that damages the catholic cult can only be a good thing.

    And this from Rees-Mogg ‘I take my whip from the Roman Catholic Church’ And as some wag added in the comments: “Yes, but is the gimp mask really necessary?”

  2. Stonyground says:

    “It’s too bad Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t sue Alex Gibney for libel.”

    Well, he could but in order for him to succeed, the description of him would have to be, you know, not true. That might be a bit of a problem for him.

  3. Broga says:

    The RC Church makes the Mafia look moral. How does this benighted outfit still manage to get people to belong to it? Ratzinger was an honoured contributor to Thought for the Day aired by the BBC.

  4. Barry Duke says:

    Well, this evil nun has escaped justice – by falling off her perch:

  5. MaryD says:

    No, I can’t get my head around this, if homosexuality is ‘good’ why does it become ‘bad’ when carried out by priests?

    Or is it just ‘bad’ because these priests have broken their own rules and it would be OK if ‘free thinkers’ helped these children to discover the latent homosexuality that is apparently within us all?

  6. Alan C says:

    I kinda like Sinead O’Connor but isn’t she now some kind of a “minister” Bit of a hypocrite then rally?

  7. Matt Westwood says:

    @MaryD: Homosexual acts are bad when it’s non-consensual. *That’s* the point.

  8. Matt Westwood says:

    I completely went off Sinead O’Connor when she did that song about getting married and wanting 6 children. The world is overpopulated, you cloth-headed bint, we don’t need any more stupid influential celebrities encouraging fuckwitted bimboes to get fashionably pregnant.

  9. David Anderson says:

    MaryD has shat and run away. Nobody would give a flying fuck if these priests were having sex with men. What you don’t seem to undrestand you disgusting piece of shit is that the victims were/are KIDS.

    Also, some of the victims were/are, you know, FEMALE.

  10. GrumpyRN says:

    MaryD, are you really that stupid? homosexuality is neither ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it just is. When priests do it with children or other vulnerable people it is contemptible.

  11. tony e says:


    You are clutching at straws, and we both know it.

  12. Stephen Mynett says:

    Unfortunately, MaryD is a prime example of why the catholic church still flourishes, it is full of brainwashed bigots who do not give a shit about the victims of abuse. The simple fact that they cannot, or will not try to, tell the difference between sexual violence and consensual sex shows how difficult it will be to bring these bastards to justice – too many of them are more than happy to ignore the pleas of victims because to listn and act morally would hurt their beloved dogma.
    MaryD may be one of a few religionist trolls on this forum but the world is full of people like that.

  13. barriejohn says:

    Sadly, I fear that to MaryD – and many others – the terms “homosexuality” and “paedophilia” are interchangeable. I bet she also believes that all paedophiles are men who prey solely on boys!

  14. Trevor Blake says:

    The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? – Exodus 4:11.

    Maybe God makes children deaf so they are easier for clergy to rape, I don’t know. What I do know is that Pope John XXII established an international child rape ring for clergy in 1962, Cardinal Ratzinger confirmed the ‘Crimine Solicitaciones’ in 2001, and later Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI.

  15. 1859 says:

    MaryD – you are horribly confused – homosexulaity has NOTHING to do with sexually abusing children! How can you be so uninformed, so narrow-minded,so ignorant, so lacking in any understanding of human nature….unless, of course, you are very religious, which would explain a great deal.

  16. JohnMWhite says:

    I wonder if the likes of MaryD ever think of the consequences of what they are about to say. She had a chance to show the slightest bit of concern about the thousands of victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the clergy – she instead chose to waste it on an ignorant and ill-thought out diatribe about teh gayz. Donohue thinks a ‘Catholic hater’ is somebody who dares talk about their dirty laundry (as if that’s a bad thing when the dirty laundry is raping children). Really a Catholic hater is anybody with a conscience. We can’t stomach people like you, MaryD, because you won’t show a shred of human decency toward anybody else.

    Now, there is a statistical issue wherein the significant majority of cases of sexual abuse by clergy were same sex. This is largely because a) for a long time priests had almost no unsupervised interaction with girls and lots and lots of unsupervised interaction with altar boys and b) homogenous seminary training and a lifetime being told women are dirty and evil will screw up anyone’s perception of females. Girls were still abused by priests, just as boys were still abused by nuns, and sexual abuse is generally not about sexual orientation or attraction anyway, it’s about power. None of this abuse was consensual, that’s why it’s called abuse, and even if you are sick enough to think minors might be hopping up and down begging for sex from an older man, they’re still minors, so it still isn’t consensual. There’s no excuse for sexually abusing anyone, and there’s no excuse for foisting the blame onto the victims, and there’s no excuse for being so profoundly ignorant and hateful that one would try to treat consensual homosexual conduct and predatory paedophilia as one and the same.

    Also, nobody ever said ‘latent homosexuality is within us all’ and nobody ever said that homosexuality is ‘good’. Don’t take that out of context and go bursting into print with your next ignorant comment yet, try to pay attention to the next sentence please. Homosexuality is a natural variation in the behaviour of numerous species, and homosexuality has no moral value. It does not make somebody morally good or morally bad to be gay. It makes somebody very morally bad indeed if they rape a child, or if they try to cover that up, or make excuses for it, or keep up their membership in the club that has been doing it to thousands of children all over the world.

  17. Robster says:

    So, the catholics have a secret supply of non-predatory priests locked away in a closet in Rome. They should dust ’em off and get them out there. They may have trouble attracting the numbers, but since they don’t seem to actually do anything, following a lead from god and the baby jesus, they could get anyone afflicted with their nonsense dogma to chant sweet nothings, light up the incense, pour water on little babies before chopping bits off their penises and the usual useless stuff priests do. Does the church pay these priestly types? Wonder what the hourly rate is for doing nothing of value?

  18. Zarathustra says:

    It’s not that we don’t already know that the RCC is a crimminal organization, that the problem…. It’s getting Catholicks, themselves, to finally make the connection and getting them to start abandoning the church in massive droves…..

  19. Zarathustra says:

    MaryD, you stupid dear…. Homosexuality is not necessarily bad, even when carried out by a priest… What’s bad is when these repressed homosexual priests RAPE & Abuse innocent children! Why is that thought, so difficult, for you and most other Catholics to wrap your limited minds around? That is also why Your church has been able to use your limited mental capabilties to treat like sheep for more than 2,000 years…. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

  20. WayBeyondRedemption says:

    It certainly is fulfilling to finally have ‘some’ of the church’s past travestries against humanity finally being exposed. I’d bet, much of the church’s past treachery has long since been covered up or buried so deeply that it will never be exposed. I dream of the day when the Vatican’ts Catacombs will finally be invaded and the full truth be revealed to the world. It’s well past the time when this ‘FALSE’ blood sucking, mentally crippling, religion fades away into history with all the rest of them.

  21. WayBeyondRedemption says:

    I feel I must ask the question: Why, with all that has being revealed about the disgusting Catholic Church, hasn’t there been a huge ground swell of protest from the massive sheep population of the church, as well as a mass EXODUS??? Could it be that most Catholics are also masochists who actually enjoy the treatment they recieve from their church? It really is inconceiveable that the brainwashing has gone as deeply as it has…..

  22. John A says:

    Whilst reading the article above, all the usual thoughts I have about the Catholics, based on years of information derived from many trustworthy sources, went through my mind and I considered it all rather sad that this abhorrent organisation still thrives in civilised countries. And then I read MaryD’s comment; a perfect example of ‘stupid’ which reminded me that with so much information readily available to most people, (she obviously has access to a computer connected to the internet) it will make no difference as long as people are either unable or unwilling to process any of it and come to a logical conclusion. Religious organisations will be there to manipulate sorry people like her to support them so that they can carry on regardless.

  23. barriejohn says:

    Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
    How do your brain cells grow?
    One here, one there, perhaps a pair,
    But you’ll never have three in a row, a row, a row;
    You’ll never have three in a row!


  24. Angela_K says:

    MaryD is a prime example of what happens when the various cults are allowed beat, abuse and indoctrinate children with dogma from a young age, so that it takes a monumental personal effort to realise that you have been conned. Unfortunately for MaryD and Ken, either they do not have the intellectual capacity to reach this conclusion, or they are too frightened to live in the real World where there are no gods.

  25. Zarathustra says:

    Anyone seen the HBO movie ”Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence”, yet? It is pointed out in the movie that the ForKING church has been aware of priestly sexual abuses since the 5th Century… and here we are, 1700 years later, & the church has still not dealt with the problem… So people like MaryDumbass, can’t claim the church doesn’t know, just because she chooses to hide her head in the sand, and not see.

  26. tony e says:

    Does anyone know if there is a link to this movie?

    I tried the hbo website without luck.

  27. […] Another devastating week for the RC Church as more of its criminality is exposed ( […]

  28. tony e says:


    Many thanks

  29. AgentCormac says:


    Why are you so obsessed with what other people get up to between the sheets? What is this morbid fascination you have with the subject? It obviously takes up a lot of your time and imagination.

  30. AgentCormac says:


    Great post.

  31. Marky Mark says:

    (The RC Church makes the Mafia look moral. How does this benighted outfit still manage to get people to belong to it?)

    My mother sent us to public school because she new the Catholic Schools were to abusive as she attended one as a child. She did send us to the CCD classes since she was brainwashed into the religion from a young age, believed in it and wanted her children to believe in it too. She did let the psychotic clergy know her husband was not catholic and should one hair on our heads be harmed there would be hell to pay, and we passed all their rituals unscathed. My cousins, who came from a divorced family, were not so lucky. They pick their victims carefully, troubled children that most likely wont be believed.

    (Does anyone know if there is a link to this movie?)
    I checked my HBO programming and it airs tomorrow night at 7pm CST. I seen the advertisements but did not see the show Monday. I will watch it tomorrow and report back if others are still interested and did not see it.

  32. Marky Mark says:

    (Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
    How do your brain cells grow?
    One here, one there, perhaps a pair,
    But you’ll never have three in a row, a row, a row;
    You’ll never have three in a row!)

    …Best one yet !

  33. barriejohn says:

    Barry: Where were the “two hundred” Conservative rebels, then? The bigots are on the run. I couldn’t help laughing to myself when I heard that that bladder of wind and arch homophobe, Nigel Farage, had announced that he wouldn’t be contesting the Eastleigh byelection. I wonder why that would be – hahaha!!!

  34. barriejohn says:

    Daily Mail headline this morning:

    “Cameron humbled by Tory gay vote rebellion”

    I’m not making it up!

  35. AgentCormac says:

    The truth just keeps on coming out.

  36. Marky Marky says:

    I watched the Doc, “MEA Maxima Cupla: Silence in the House of God”, tonight…WOW! Powerful stuff! Well researched and well presented.
    I’m amazed to learn there is written documentation of pedophilia and child abuse in the church dating back 1000 years. It appears if a priest was good at bringing in revenue he would most likely not be investigated and reprimanded…and stay in high standards with the pope.
    I’m not surprised at this as it is always about the money and less to do with their followers. Like all religions, their followers are mire meat on a hook to be consumed.

  37. 1859 says:

    Mary, Mary, very scary,
    Do your gonads ever twitch?
    ‘Cos there may come a day
    When you wake up gay
    And yer overies ‘ave gone an’ switched.

    May god bless yer gonads
    Whatever they may be –
    Testes to overies, overies to testes,
    It’s one or the other for Mary D.

  38. Matt Westwood says:

    @Marky MArk: “… if a priest was good at bringing in revenue he would most likely not be investigated and reprimanded … always about the money and less to do with their followers …”

    Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”, anyone?

  39. AgentCormac says:

    It seems the Irish are continuing to do more to throw off the shackles of their catholic past than any other country.

    They (and in particular Enda Kenny) can only be applauded for their bravery, while strangely enough there isn’t a single word about the whole Magdalene Laundries conclusion on Donohue’s revolting Catholic League website. Perhaps even Bill hasn’t got the stomach to muster up a defence of that particular crime. Except for this, back in July/August 2011:

    “A United Nations panel, the Committee against Torture, recently asked the Irish government to investigate allegations of mistreatment of young women who used to work in Catholic laundries. Specifically, the panel says that alleged abuses in the so-called Magdalene Laundries, workhouses run by nuns from the 1920s to the mid-1990s, should be investigated with an eye towards prosecuting the guilty parties.

    The Irish government correctly noted that it cannot “rewrite its history or right the wrongs that were done.” Indeed, it is obscene for an international body to hold the women religious of one nation accountable for alleged abuses that took place nearly a century ago. What’s driving this initiative is more than revisionist history—it smacks of an agenda.

    Ironically, of the ten nations on the U.N. Committee against Torture that are recommending the investigation, half of them are guilty of torture today! Freedom House’s latest annual report says that “arbitrary arrest and torture” still exists in Morocco. Amnesty International said last year that “Senegal’s security forces continue to torture suspects held in custody, sometimes to death.” Regarding Cyprus, in “Special Report” by, it said that “Human trafficking is a huge problem in the north of the island” and that “cabaret owners routinely threaten women with torture in chambers beneath their nightclubs.” Last year, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims said that “torture and ill-treatment” are “still highly prevalent” in Ecuador. And Freedom House concludes that “torture remains widespread” in China today.

    From top to bottom, this entire attack on Irish nuns reeks of politics and intellectual dishonesty.”

    What a terrible, revolting excuse for a human being he is.