Peg Clark, Naples
President, Voice of the Faithful
Of Southwest Florida
Re: Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement.
He is aware that the criminal suit against him for worldwide negligence and mistreatment of Catholic children is on the agenda of the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
Is it possible that the HBO release of Alex Gibney’s explosive documentary, “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,’’ has something to do with it?
The film tells the story of the first public pedophilia case involving deaf children and Rev. Lawrence Murphy, a priest at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Wisconsin. Between 1950 and 1974, the case alleges Murphy sexually abused at least 200 young students and enlisted older boys to molest the younger boys in preparation for his molestation of them.
A lifetime later, a group of Murphy’s victims, now grown men, tried to inform the hierarchy. Once they were told that Murphy could never be removed from the school because he was its best fund-raiser, the documentary says.
As a cardinal in 1981, Joseph Ratzingers’s office handled canonical and moral questions for the church. All priests’ sexual abuse cases crossed that desk. Benedict XVI has known the depth and breadth of the crime of pedophilia by priests for decades, the film shows.
“Mea Maxima Culpa’’ translates to “my most grievous fault.” Is it Benedict’s most grievous fault?
Voice of the Faithful of Southwest Florida was given the film by HBO with the caveat that it is shown to the community; call 239-417-3077.