Frontline shows its ‘Hand of God’

Frontline’s devoted followers on PBS — and there are millions of us out here — are educated often by revealing and candid documentaries on compelling issues.

Try this one on for size: the scandalous behavior of some Catholic priests.

Frontline, the acclaimed PBS documentary series, is streaming online a landmark 2007 documentary that tells a gripping story of how one Massachusetts family survived the horror of abuse from one such priest.

It’s called “Hand of God,” and it was produced by WGBH-TV, the public television station in Boston, Mass.

The Cultrera family told Frontline of the betrayal its members felt at the hands of the church. Did they survive the ordeal? Yes. Frontline notes that the family endured it and managed to keep its humor and dignity intact.

It’s just one story — out of many, sad to say. The church has been forced to answer for the conduct of some of its priests. The Vatican has declared just recently that punishing the priests must be the responsibility of local law enforcement and local bishops, which of course is an interesting tack, given that the Vatican appoints the bishops.

Be that as it may, Frontline sought to peel some layers off one story in New England. It’s moving, candid, gripping and it has an ending that might surprise viewers.

The seven-year-old story is available online for free.

Take a look — and be moved to tears once again.


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