Reflections from the Premier of Mea Maxima Culpa

Watching survivors sign their stories in Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House of God left me hanging in anticipation on their every word. As I watched the Premiere of I was at once deeply saddened, moved, angered, and inspired.

I am saddened by the depth of the problem, that the Vatican has recognized a pattern of priests abusing children for centuries but chosen to keep its data on the crisis locked away and hidden from public knowledge. And I am saddened by each and every abusive contact between a priest and a child. No child should have to live with the grief, anger, guilt, and confusion that is caused by such abuse and honor the deep sorrow every day.

Through this film I am moved by the courageous survivors featured and those unnamed but remembered. Their courage to speak up for the wrongs done to them and speak out against their perpetrators and those who let it happen is profound and moves me and us to action every single day.

I am angered as I watch the film and think of the hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse with whom we have worked, each with unique stories of betrayal, secrecy, and often, silence. The events in the film are upsetting reminders that priests who abuse children are so often left unpunished for their actions, some even moved and promoted to new positions, while children continue to be put at risk.

Finally, this film left me overwhelmingly inspired and reminded that there is still work to be done to stop sexual abuse. I walk away from it centered and energized, ready for the next challenge, a call to action with renewed strength.