Filmmaker Alex Gibney Accuses Pope: 'Sexual-Abuse Scandal Goes to the Top of the Vatican'

Sharon Waxman
The Wrap

Alex Gibney is ready to take on the Pope in his new documentary, "Mea Maxima Culpa:  Silence in the House of God," which opens this weekend.

Gibney, who has taken on hot topics from lobbyist Jack Abramoff to biking champion Lance Armstrong to Enron, digs into a new aspect of the sexual-abuse scandal in which deaf children in Catholic boarding schools were preyed upon by pedophile priests.

One of those children, now grown, has sued the Pope. The film raises the tantalizing question of whether private individuals can sue the Vatican, which is a sovereign country. 

"So you can understand the magnitude of this scandal, it's a concerted systematic cover-up of childhood sexual abuse that goes all the way to top of Vatican," he told me.

Also read: 'Mea Maxima Culpa' Trailer: Alex Gibney Challenges the Catholic Church (Video)

He said that the sins of the Wisconsin priest at the deaf school, Lawrence Murphy, "leads you on a journey, like the film 'Chinatown,' from Milwaukee to Ireland all the way up to the top of the Vatican, to the Pope himself."

"These deaf men wanted so badly to have their voices heard that they kept at this over and over the course of 30 years, until one of them actually sued the Pope. And it's in that legal action that they discovered documents that link their case right to the top of the Vatican."

Here's the interview:

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