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"Hand of God" Film Site
The official Web site, set up by filmmaker Joe Cultrera, of the longer, theatrical release of "Hand of God." Read press reviews and viewers' comments and purchase the theatrical version on DVD.

BishopAccountability.org: Rev. Joseph E. Birmingham and "Hand of God"
Bishop Accountability, which maintains a massive archive of articles and documents on clergy sexual abuse in the United States, has compiled this special page of documents related to "Hand of God." Of special note are the index of church and court documents about Birmingham and the timeline of his career. The site also hosts the AbuseTracker blog highlighting the latest stories on clergy abuse.

News Coverage

Boston Globe Spotlight Series on Priest Sexual Abuse
The Globe won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, starting with a January 6, 2002 cover story about serial pedophile John Geoghan. The paper has collected its stories here, including several on Joseph Birmingham and a section on the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law. Visitors can also read depositions of Cardinal Law conducted by victims' lawyers in 2002.

"Scandal in the Church: Five Years On"
Marking the 5-year anniversary of the Boston Globe's first stories about the priest abuse scandal, this three-part NPR series follows-up with victims and attempts to explain why, while abuse had been occurring for decades, the scandal exploded when it did. The main page for the series also includes Web features about key figures in the scandal and the church's response, and an archive of NPR's stories on the scandal from 2002. (Jan. 11-12, 2007)

"Our Man in Rome"
This September 2006 Boston Magazine profile on Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned as head of the Archdiocese of Boston in December 2002, details Law's travels and assignments since leaving Boston. Writer Francis Rocca suggests that Law's current position at St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome gives him even more influence over church affairs than he had in Boston.

Survivor/Lay Advocacy Groups

Voice of the Faithful
A national lay-Catholic organization founded in the wake of the priest sexual abuse scandal, Voice of the Faithful's mission is "to support victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse" and "priests of integrity" while working for "structural change within the Catholic Church" and a greater role for the laity. The group has also written a primer for survivors reporting their abuse to the church.

SNAP -- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
The homepage of a national organization for survivors of clergy sexual abuse. Includes listings for local support groups, a toll-free suicide hotline and tips for activists.

Coalition to Reform Sex Abuse Law in Massachusetts
Web site of an advocacy group dedicated to extending or abolishing Massachusetts' criminal and civil statutes of limitations on sexual abuse and the commonwealth's statute of charitable immunity, which limits damages for which charities, including the Archdiocese of Boston, can be sued. In October 2006, then-Lt. Governor Kerry Healey signed a bill extending the criminal statute of limitations from 15 years to 27 years, but no action has been taken on the other laws.

Church Resources

Archdiocese of Boston
The official Web site of the Archdiocese of Boston, now headed by Cardinal Sean O'Malley, is a source for official statements on the financial cost of sexual abuse settlements and the "reconfiguration" of Boston parishes.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Child and Youth Protection
Created in 2002 in response to the priest sexual abuse scandal, the Office of Child and Youth Protection is charged with implementing the American Catholic Church's response to the crisis, including conducting audits of dioceses to ensure their compliance with church policy. The Office's web page also lists Victims' Assistance Coordinators for dioceses nationwide.

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posted jan. 16, 2007

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