Father Gordon MacRae
For those who have been following my postings, I have written often about our faithful Catholic priests, men who I respect greatly for their love of Holy Mother Church.
One such priest of whom I have written is Father Gordon MacRae. We don't hear about Father Gordon in "polite circles", because Father Gordon was convicted of being a pedophile, although there was no evidence against him, even though incredible fictitious evidence was manufactured. He was caught up in the sexual abuse scandal at its peak, when squeamish bishops rushed to pay off those who would "bring scandal to the Church" on the mere receipt of a letter from some contingency lawyer, claiming his client was a victim of abuse.
With the rush to dole out cash to assuage the guilt from hiding the real abuses of the past, which of itself was a precipitous action, our bishops left priests accused of abuse on their own, in a "Where there is smoke there is fire" type of response. Often, all too often, there was a fire burning, though it had smoldered with the stench of burning flesh for many years right under their noses, and they somehow had chosen to ignore it for fear of bringing scandal to the Church.
Today's scandal in the Church is not the abuse of children, though it may always exist. No, it is the refusal of bishops and law enforcement agencies, to give priests accused of wrong doing, the rights that we all have before the law, to confront our accusers, to defend ourselves when charges are brought against us
Father Gordon is writing a three part series currently from his current home in the state prison in New Hampshire, about "When Priests are Falsely Accused". This is the second part and links to the first part are embedded in the article linked above.
As I have defended his cause, I have been able to have some contact with Father Gordon. I have written about him, and his blog master has read either my posting or my email to him, because you see, as a prisoner, he is not allowed the types of contact with the outside world that we take for granted. He has no Internet or even a device that would support it. He uses an old electric typewriter with some memory in it to write his poignant articles. Father Gordon has then responded to me by telling his blog master what he wants her to convey in an email to me.
16 years he has been incarcerated. The chilling thing is that he has refused ever to admit guilt for the charges that were brought against him, and had he pled guilty, he would be outside in the free world today, and would have been for many years. Only a very foolish person would pass up an opportunity to plead guilty to charges he committed, thereby reducing his time in prison. But, a man of courage and high moral fibre would never submit to a lie merely to save his butt.
Father Gordon is a man of courage and high moral fibre, and so he sits. On Tuesdays, the same day as this latest posting by Father Gordon, we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries, when we say our daily rosary. On my iPod, I have an application with the rosary on it, and with the mysteries with the scripture verse that forms the basis of the particular mystery and with the "Fruit of the Mystery" for which we are to pray.
The fruit of the 3rd Sorrowful Mystery, the Crowning with Thorns, is Courage. The fruit of the 4th Mystery, the Carrying of the Cross is Patience, and the fruit of the 5th Sorrowful Mystery is Perseverance.
We are called to see each other as Christ with skin on, and so as I ponder these mysteries, I call to mind Father Gordon and all our faithful priests, who embody in an earthly sense these mysteries. Father Gordon's embodiment of these mysteries just happens to be a bit more hard hitting.
Each morning when I pray the liturgy of the hours, I offer an additional prayer somewhat as follows: "Father, I pray for priests, deacons and religious, those in formation and those discerning a vocation to religious life, that you would guide them and guard them from all evil, that you would send our Holy Mother to surround them with her mantle of protection and frustrate the powers of Satan, that you would send Michael and their guardian angels to defend them in battles against Satan and the powers and forces of darkness, and to minister to their needs, and intercede for them at your right hand."
I particularly pray for Father Gordon MacRae and Father Mark Gruber whose earthly sufferings are joined to those of Our Dear Saviour on the Cross in a redemptive way, uniting them to Him.