Winner 2013

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

Jigsaw Productions, HBO Documentary Films, Wider Film Projects and Below the Radar Films

Mea Maxima Culpa investigates and exposes the atrocious crimes of a Milwaukee priest who sexually abused more than 200 deaf children in a school under his control. Through this disquieting story and others, Alex Gibney’s documentary explores the secret cover-up and the procedures enacted by the Catholic Church in light of thousands of sexual abuse accusations all around the world. The accounts and facts incriminate prominent and powerful figures within the Church, including Marcial Maciel Degollado and His Holiness, Benedict the 16th. Using photos, video and first-person interviews, the film pieces together past events to empower four courageous deaf men –- Terry Kohut, Gary Smith, Arthur Budzinski and Bob Bolger -– in their quest to denounce the actions of their abuser and protect other children from harm. Their stories, the first known public protest against clerical sexual abuse in the United States, are vividly told through sign language and voice-over. For providing a harrowing story of clerical sexual abuse, empowering long-silenced victims and unveiling clandestine Church practices around accusations, Mea Maxima Culpa receives a Peabody Award.


Executive Producers: Sheila Nevins, Lori Singer, Jessica Kingdon. Producers: Alex Gibney, Alexandra Johnes, Kristen Vaurio, Jedd Wider, Todd Wider. Supervising Producer: Sara Bernstein. Director: Alex Gibney. Writer: Alex Gibney. Director of Photography: Lisa Rinzler. Editor: Sloane Klevin.