Mea maxima culpa: film festival discussion

Mea maxima culpa: film festival discussion

Bestselling Australian author Tom Keneally will take part in a fascinating panel discussion with broadcaster Geraldine Doogue and Jesuit priest Fr Frank Brennan at The Big Picture Film Festival on February 27.

The panel discussion will take place following the Australian premiere screening of the controversial film Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa. The film tells the story of the global cover-up of clerical abuse within the Catholic Church and the battle of five individuals to rise above it.

Coincidentally, the screening will take place on the eve of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation.

“Prior to writing, Tom trained to be a priest,” said festival founder the Rev. Bill Crews. “He will bring his unique insights to bear on the issues raised by Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa.”

The screening of Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa is timely for the many victims of clerical abuse in Australia who hope to have their own stories heard at the Royal Commission. The parallels between what happened to so many of them and what is demonstrated in this film are both stark and shocking.

The festival runs from February 27 to March 5 and is a unique collection of the most exciting new documentary films from around the world. All proceeds raised from The Big Picture Film Festival go to supporting the work of The Bill Crews Charitable Trust, which encourages, supports, finances and develops ways of tackling poverty across three continents.

Silence in the House of God

Beginning in the 1950s and lasting until 1974, Fr Lawrence C. Murphy molested approximately 200 young boys at St John’s School for the Deaf in Wisconsin. Though the Vatican knew about the abuse early on, Murphy, who died in 1998, was never defrocked.

Director and narrator Alex Gibney weaves interviews with five of the victims — voiced by Jamey Sheridan, Chris Cooper, Ethan Hawke and John Slattery — into a larger story of the global cover-up of such abuses.

“Mea maxima culpa” is Latin for “through my most grievous fault” and Gibney’s film, personal yet rigorous, reveals those faults as systemic, ignored and tragic.

Session details

Venue: Event Cinemas, George Street Sydney
Season: 7:45pm, Wednesday February 27 2013
Bookings: Online at


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