'Vows of Silence' is an award-winning one-hour documentary on Father Maciel and the Legion of Christ; visit:
For more info, reviews, etc.
A Catholic priest starts a worldwide cultish religious order, demands that no one criticize him, raises millions of dollars, befriends every Pope since 1946 — and is a pedophile, and is accused of drug and financial abuses.
The documentary is available on DVD, along with additional scenes, extended director's interview, and the Spanish version narrated by CNN's Carmen Aristegui:
The film is also available for immediate viewing on Amazon Video On Demand:
DVD also at filmbaby.com. Go to: http://www.filmbaby.com/films/3488
'Vows of Silence' captures the haunting saga of Father Marcial Maciel, who won the favor of Pope John Paul II despite years of pedophilia accusations. The greatest fundraiser of the modern church, Maciel founded the Legionaries of Christ, a religious order with a $650 million budget and history of controversial tactics. The lay group he founded is Regnum Christi.
The film tracks abuse charges filed against Maciel, beginning in the 1950s, as well as evidence of drug abuse and financial improprieties.
In 1998, formal charges are filed with Cardinal Ratzinger (who would later become Pope). The Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, tries to abort the case. In 2004, with Pope John Paul II dying, Ratzinger takes action.
The film follows a secret Vatican investigator as witnesses testify about Maciel's sexual abuse, psychological tyranny, and the vows he imposed to secure Legionaries' silence.
All signs indicate that those at the very top knew about Maciel's illegal activity, but never stopped him. The Maciel case illustrates the bigger question of how the Vatican justice system functions.
UPDATES: In early 2009, the Legion of Christ made public the fact that Maciel fathered a child who is now in her 20s. In July 2009, the Vatican launched a new investigation, a lengthy worldwide visitation by five bishops to examine the Legion's finances, Father Maciel's influence, and other internal dynamics of the Legion and Regnum Christi. In August 2009, reports that Maciel may have more children began surfacing. In December 2009, the Legion announced it has found that a book Maciel wrote in the 1950s, popular among Legion members and followers, was largely plagiarized from another book written in the 1930s.
In spring 2010, director Jason Berry published a two-part series in the National Catholic Reporter, presenting new evidence that Father Maciel paid several Vatican officials (including Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, whose friendship with Maciel is detailed in the film) for protection. The series is here:
The film has aired nationally in Ireland on RTE1, in Italy, and will air nationally in Spain on TVE and TV3 in Spring 2010.
Festivals and awards:
• Best Television Documentary, Mexico City International Documentary Film Festival
• Documentary section of the RomaFictionFest
• New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival
• International Madrid Documentary Festival
• New Orleans Film Festival
For more info, visit: http://www.VowsOfSilenceFilm.com
For more info, reviews, etc.