Archdiocesan Files of Rev. Joseph E. Birmingham
Notes by Msgr. Thomas J. Finnegan on Meeting about Allegations

November 4, 1964

Notes on a meeting that Finnegan had with Msgr. Francis J. Sexton, chancellor of the Boston archdiocese under Cardinal Cushing, to discuss allegations that Rev. Joseph E. Birmingham had sexually abused two boys at Our Lady of Fatima church in Sudbury. The boys and their fathers attended the meeting, as did Rev. Robert H. Hurley, pastor of Our Lady's. Birmingham first denied the abuse, then apologized for the "impropriety," and plans were made to transfer him. At the time he participated in this meeting, Finnegan was the Vocations Director for the archdiocese, and his vocations representative in the Salem area was Rev. John B. McCormack, stationed at St. James parish. Birmingham was transferred 12 days later to St. James, perhaps so that McCormack could keep an eye on him.

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