Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa

Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa

Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa

Cast: Jamey Sheridan, John Slattery, Chris Cooper
Director: Alex Gibney
Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 108 minutes

In Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney exposes the abuse of power in the Catholic Church and a cover-up that winds its way from the row houses of Milwaukee Wisconsin, through the bare ruined choirs of Ireland's churches all the way to the highest office of the Vatican.

By investigating the secret crimes of a charismatic priest who abused over 200 deaf children in a school under his control - the film shows the face of evil that lurks behind the smiles and denials of authority figures and institutions who believe that because they stand for good they can do no wrong.

Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa
Release Date
: March 21st, 2013


November 11, 1925 - Lawrence Murphy born.
1941- Marcial Maciel Degollado founds the Legion of the Christ.
September 1943- Bob Bolger is born.
September 1947-Bob Bolger enters St. John's School for the Deaf in St Francis, WI.
1947- The first Servants of the Paraclete treatment centeris opened in Jemez Springs, New Mexico.
May 27, 1950 - Murphy is ordained to the priesthood after graduation from St. Francis seminary.
June 12, 1950-Murphy begins at St. John School for the Deaf.
1953- Arthur Budzinski enters St. John's School for the Deaf at age 4. 1954- Gary Smith enters St. John's School for the Deaf.
1955 or 1956-Bob Bolger graduates from St. John's School for the Deaf..
1958 After visiting St. John's school and hearing of abuse by Murphy, Father David Walsh informs Archbishop Meyer as well as the Vatican's Apostolic Delegate in Washington DC.
July 1, 1963- Murphy is promoted to head of St John's School for the Deaf.
June 1964- Arthur Budzinski graduates from St. John's.
1969- Terry Kohut graduates from St. John's.
1971- Gary Smith graduates from St. John's.
May 1973-Archbishop William Edward Cousins of Milwaukee receives a letter from Bob Bolger about Murphy.
Fall 1973- Bob, Arthur, and Gary report abuse to the Milwaukee Police and St. Francis Police Department. No charges are filed.
March 7, 1974 Bob, Arthur, and Gary pass out fliers at Cousins' 25th Anniversary mass at St. John's Cathedral.
May 16, 1974- Gary Smith, Bob Bolger, Arthur Budzinski, Arlene Quandt and John Conway meet with Father Murphy and Archbishop Cousins, and other members of the deaf community.
May 18, 1974 - Fr. Lawrence Murphy is removed as director of St. John's School for the Deaf, but remains as fundraiser and alumni director.
May 19, 1974- Arlene Quant writes to the Vatican's Apostolic Delegation about charges against Murphy on behalf of former students of St. Johns.
Summer 1974 - Murphy is completely removed from any role at St. John's School for the Deaf.
August 1974 -Milwaukee Sentinel reports on Murphy's removal.
September 1974 - Murphy relocates to a family home in Boulder Junction, Wis., in the Diocese of Superior.
September 14, 1974 - Bob Bolger, Arthur Budzinski, and Gary Smith meet with Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann.
1975 - Gary Smith files civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee about Murphy.
May 27, 1975- Gary Smith is persuaded to sign an apology to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Father Murphy, and St. John's School for the Deaf.
September 1976- Gary Smith's lawsuit is settled.
1978 - Singing priest Tony Walsh is first accused of abuse - just after his ordination in the same year.
1987 - Catholic dioceses In Ireland, take out insurance for protection against allegations of clerical child sex abuse.
1988 -Tony Walsh enters center for treatment of offending priests at Paracletes center in Stroud UK
1992- In Ireland, Archbishop Connell convenes secret canonical trial regarding signing priestTony Walsh.
Fall 1993 - After meeting with victims who have come forward, Archbishop Weakland re-states restrictions on Murphy that had gone ignored for years .
December 1993- Murphy is evaluated by therapist Kathy Walter who writes that Murphy admitted to abusing 19 children but that the true number is likely 200.
Early 1995 - Archbishop Weakland begins formal investigation into allegations against Father Murphy.
February 1995- Tony Walsh is convicted of sexual assault in Ireland.
January 1996- Pope John Paul II dismisses Tony Walsh from the clerical state.
July 17, 1996-Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland writes to cardinal Joseph Ratzinger , notifying him of allegations against Murphy and that there should be canonical trials that could lead to dismissal.
July 22, 1996 - Robert Bolger, Arthur Budzinski, and Gary Smith confront Lawrence Murphy at his cabin in Boulder Junction, WI.
December 10, 1996-Murphy is notified of case against him.
January 31, 1997- In a secret letter to the bishops of Ireland, Vatican officials write they have "serious reservations about the bishops' policy of mandatory reporting of priests suspected of child abuse to the police or civil authorities.
March 10, 1997- Archbishop Weakland writes to Vatican officials stating that he has received no response from Cardinal Ratzinger. He asks for a waiver of church rules limiting the time that the church officials can proceed with a trial against member of the clergy accused of crimes.
March 24, 1997- Archbishop TarcisioBertone, Ratzinger's secretary, advises the Milwaukee archbishop to proceed with the canonical trial and stresses the use of the 1962 secret protocol from the Holy See entitled "Instructio de modoprocedendi in causissollicitacionis." That dictates secrecy of proceedings
May 14, 1997- Weakland writes to Archbishop Bertone stating he will proceed with the cases despite the expiration of the time periods dictated by canon law.
Jan 12, 1998- Murphy writes to Cardinal Ratzinger pleading for leniency in light of his poor health. He asks for Ratzinger's assistance "to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood".
April 6, 1998- Archbishop Bertone writes to Bishop Raphael Fliss of the Diocese of Superior, where Murphy resides, advising that Murphy not be given a canonical trial and defrocked. He urges that pastoral rather than judicial measures be used.
May 13, 1998-. Bishop Fliss responds to Bertone telling him that "all reasonable pastoral methods have been exhausted" in father Murphy's case and that scandal cannot be repaired nor justice service without a judicial trial.
May 30, 1998- Wisconsin bishops - including Weakland - meet with Vatican officials about Murphy case.
August 19, 1998- Weakland abandons canonical trial of Murphy in the face of lack of support from the Vatican.
August 21, 1998 - Lawrence Murphy dies at a Casino in northern Wisconsin. He is still a Catholic priest and is buried in a Catholic cemetery in his vestments against the orders of the Church.
April 2001- The Vatican announces (via MotuPropio "Sacramentorumsanctitatistutela" of 2001) that every single allegation of sex abuse against a minor by clergy will be sent to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, led by Cardinal Ratzinger.
January 2002- The Boston Globe publishes the first of a series of articles revealing the cover-up of sex abuse by clergy members in the Boston Archdiocese.
October 2002- In Ireland, RTÉ's Prime Time broadcasts Cardinal Secrets on the handling by a number of bishops of clerical child sex abuse allegations in the archdiocese of Dublin.
December 13, 2002- In the wake of the scandal, Cardinal Bernard Law resigns from his position as Archbishop of Boston.
April 2004 - Cardinal Desmond Connell steps down as Archbishop of Dublin. He is replaced by Diarmuid Martin.
May 2004- Pope John Paul II appoints Cardinal Law (formerly of Boston) to archpriest of Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.
October 2005 The Ferns Report, an Irish government inquiry, uncovers more than 100 allegations of sexual abuse by priests.
March 2005 - As Pope John Paul is dying, Cardinal Ratzinger begins an investigation of canonical crimes by Father Maciel. Ratzinger sends his prosecutor, Charles Scicluna, to collect evidence in New York and Mexico City.
April 2, 2005- Pope John Paul II dies.
April 15, 2005- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is elected Pope Benedict XVI.
May 1, 2005- Pope Benedict XVI holds Beatification Mass for Pope John Paul II.
May 2006- Vatican ends investigation into MarcialMaciel and orders him to live of life of penance and prayer removed from the ministry. Despite the evidence of multiple cases of abuse, the Vatican drops any plans for a canonical trial of Maciel.
2006- Bob Bolger dies.
July 11, 2007- Wisconsin Supreme Court rules that plaintiffs in sex abuse cases can pursue civil cases against the Catholic church for fraud.
January 3, 2008- MarcialMaciel dies a priest in a mansion in Jacksonville, Florida.
January 4, 2011- Archdiocese of Milwaukee announces it is filing for bankruptcy protection. Victims have until February 1, 2012 to file a claim.
November 2009 The Murphy report [no relation to Wisconsin's Father Murphy] is published in Ireland. It focuses on clerical sex abuse - and the cover-up of crimes by the church - in the archdiocese of Dublin.
May 2009 The Ryan Report investigating the extent and effects of abuse against children. is published in Ireland. This culminates a 10 year investigation into the extent and effects of abuse against the children of Ireland. Detailed rampant abuse in Catholic run Reformatory and Industrial Schools
December 2010- Chapter 19 of the Murphy Report is made public, revealing that Tony Walsh admitted to committing over 200 acts of child sex abuse.
March 2010- Pope Benedict issues an apology to the Catholics of Ireland.
April 2010 - John Doe 16 (aka Terry Kohut) files suit against the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI
May 1, 2011- Pope Benedict XVI beatifies Pope John Paul II, bringing him one step closer to sainthood.
November 2011- Cardinal Law resigns from his position at Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.
February 2012 -An estimated 570 victims of sex abuse pursue a civil case against the Church in Milwaukee's bankruptcy court.