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 Latest coverage

April 7
Psychologist testifies on Porter

April 6
Victims oppose Porter release

January 30, 2004
2 fathered by priest settle suit

January 6, 2004
Church could defrock priests

July 23
Priest asks judge to toss suit

June 28
Haverhill priest sentenced

June 11
Alleged victim takes the stand

April 16
Record of priest's care at issue

February 11
More abuse records released

February 7
Board dismissed accusations

February 5
Lennon gave advice on priest
Police warned church on priest
Deacon hired over Law protest

February 1
Lawyers find more priest files

January 31, 2003
Records on 10 clergy released
Priest details longtime affair

Earlier stories

Spotlight Report

  The Rev. Joseph Birmingham is accused of abusing dozens of children during his three decades in parish ministry in the Boston Archdiocese.


Joseph Birmingham's trail of abuse

At least 50 men have come forward with claims they were abused by the late Rev. Joseph E. Birmingham during the priest's 29-year tour through the Boston Archdiocese. Called to the Chancery to face two of his accusers in the 1960s, Birmingham apologized for his behavior. He was later rotated through five additional parishes, where he continued to abuse. Birmingham died in 1989, but the archdiocese continues to receive complaints and settle lawsuits brought by his alleged victims.

 Birmingham's career
Ordained, Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston
Our Lady of Fatima, Sudbury
St. James' Church, Salem
St. Michael's Church, Lowell
St. Columbkille's Church, Brighton
St. Ann's Church, Gloucester
St. Brigid's Church, Lexington
April 19, 1989
Died, aged 55
Birmingham also served as juvenile court chaplain of Brighton Municipal Court.

March 24, 2002
Spotlight: Suit names archdiocese, N.H. bishop
By Sacha Pfeiffer and Thomas Farragher, Globe Staff
A former Salem man who alleges he was sexually molested by Rev. Joseph Birmingham in the 1960s said that Bishop John McCormack saw the priest taking him to his rectory bedroom and did nothing to stop it.

April 4, 2002
Dozens more allege abuse by Birmingham
By Sacha Pfeiffer, Globe Staff
More than two dozen alleged victims of the late Rev. Joseph Birmingham have come forward, some with accounts of how they fruitlessly complained about his compulsive molestation of children.

April 5, 2002
Law is new defendant in clergy abuse suit
By Matt Carroll, Globe Staff
Cardinal Bernard Law and a retired monsignor were added as defendants yesterday to a lawsuit that now includes 14 alleged victims of the late Rev. Joseph Birmingham.

April 12, 2002
Law aides often dismissed complaints of clergy abuse
By Sacha Pfeiffer, Globe Staff
Although the public's anger over the clergy sex abuse crisis has focused on Cardinal Bernard Law, it was also Law's lieutenants who often supported abusive priests such as Rev. Joseph Birmingham.

May 15, 2002
Victim recalls abuse at hands of priest
By Bella English, Globe Staff
The Rev. Jospeh Birmingham stands accused of sexually molesting at least 40 boys in the various parishes throughout Greater Boston. For many victims, the memory of his alleged crimes lingers.

June 5, 2002
Memos reveal trail of charges against Birmingham
By Sacha Pfeiffer, Globe Staff
The departure of Rev. Joseph Birmingham from Our Lady of Fatima Church was sudden, but if parishioners asked what had become of their parish priest, church officials had a tidy explanation.

October 30, 2002
In meeting with victims, Law begs forgiveness
By Erica Noonan and Sacha Pfeiffer, Globe Staff
In an emotional encounter with men and women whose lives were shattered by Rev. Joseph Birmingham, Cardinal Bernard Law last night begged forgiveness from about 75 alleged victims.

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