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Oscar-Winning Filmmaker Alex Gibney Says Pope's Resignation Linked to Sex Abuse Crisis

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney, who produced the new documentary 'Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,' recently said that Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation may be tied to recent sex scandals involving priests.

“His papacy will always be saddled with the stain of the sex abuse crisis,” Gibney told the Hollywood Reporter. "[The resignation] seems to me inextricably linked to the sex abuse crisis."

The vatican has said that Pope Benedict XVI's resignation was because of health issues.

Gibney’s film (video below) chronicles five deaf men who were abused as boys by one priest at St John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during the 1960s. The victims, now men, took their claims all the way to the vatican, but were blown off.

Pope Benedict XVI, previously Cardinal Ratzinger, was responsible for ordering all reports of sex abuse to be channeled through his office at the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith from 2001 to 2005.

Two of the men “expressed great joy that he had resigned," said Gibney. “They felt he was a symbolic figure for them, and his resignation showed some sense of accountability from the church. So, yes, they were actually joyful.”

Gibney said one wrote in an email: “Finally. Many, many thanks to you and your crew for spreading our word, because we want to protect all innocent children. May the universe bless you.”

Gibney admitted he had no proof for his suggestion that the Pope resigned due to the sex abuse crisis, but added: "It is very strange. It’s two days before Ash Wednesday. Because of the way that the conclave works, it means no pope will probably reside over Easter Sunday Mass. You wonder if there is another shoe to drop.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter


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