2012 / Director. Alex Gibney.
SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD is a revealing and shocking exposition of the protection of pedophiles within the Catholic church. I was aware of the subject matter prior to watching it (obviously) and knew it would be confronting but I was honestly gobsmacked with the detail and scope of which this film has exposed. None of it is here-say either. The film begins in the mid 60s as it focuses on one priestly predator at a school for the deaf and systematically uncovers corruption and cover-up on all levels of the Church all the way to the Pope himself (Benedict). The investigation into the church began with a small group of victims from St Johns School for the Deaf in Milwaaukee, under the guidance of Father Lawrence Murphy. In the late 60s these young men embarked on a campaign to expose Murphy's crimes. From distributing flyers amongst the community to launching legal action against the Vatican 40 years later... their quest for justice met every obstacle possible. As their story unfolds though testimony, evidence and confessions the film slowly expands into a world-wide epidemic of pedophilia riddled throughout the Church, all with the knowledge and silence of the Vatican and Pope himself. Accounts of Vatican's knowledge of sexual abuse of children dates back to the late 1800's and documentation shows that it was an issue covered up for many decades before this story began. Schools for the deaf were common ground for molestation because the victims could not speak up. Children who's parents couldn't understand sign-language were targeted more often. It is a sickening and gut wrenching story... in fact the film is heartbreaking and exasperating. Anger fuels every morsel as the victims are endlessly ignored, chastised and hushed. The bravery these children demonstrated as they carried their abuse into adulthood and mustered the courage to tell the world... its incredible. I dread to think how many took their lives over the years. All documentaries have an agenda and many of them use manipulation to support their statement... this film doesn't resort to that. It is NOT an anti-religious film and treats pedophilia as a crime... it IS a crime for fuck sake! No falsehoods or disputable stories are presented here. The film is driven by fact and supports itself with evidence. I would encourage everyone to see the film. Your faith or lack thereof is irrelevant. It's not looking to debunk religion and/or faith, nor does it support atheism. Religion is not an issue... the ORGANISATION is what's clearly so wrong.