The perfidious assault by the Main Stream Media recently over the "sexual abuse" scandal in the Catholic Church, a rehash of things written 8 years ago, has shed a light on a lot of things, but I am sure you were not expecting this.
There is no doubt that a significant number of Catholic Clergy sexually abused young people. There is no doubt that there are still a small number of incidents of this kind of abuse occurring. What is also not disputable is that this is a world wide epidemic, and not limited to the Catholic Church. However, what makes the Catholic Church unique is that it is the only reasonable target for financial gain.
There is a part of the legal community that feeds on contingency based litigation. You have all read and heard about class action cases against major companies for real or frivolous things that occurred. This, the contingency based, legal maneuverings is a growth business. Bringing a class action against a major corporation is your pit bulls against our pit bulls, and in the event that there is a sympathetic jury to the group that has claimed foul, the major victors are the litigation lawyers, who make off with 1/4 or more of the take from the bad guys, who in fact may or may not have actually been bad guys.
Well, a number of these legal eagles have made a small fortune from taking on the Catholic Church, over the sexual abuse of their clients, by members of the clergy, and they never did it out of the goodness of their hearts. When this occurs, it is their put bulls, against our sheep.
But, what if there is no evidence to support the claims. Often there is not. Often, though there is no evidence, the claims are just. Sometimes, maybe more often now that there is a cash incentive, and a flock of contingency lawyers available, nothing really happened. Often times, in the 60's to 80's a priest was just doing the best he could to meet the needs of his parishioners, and left himself vulnerable to some cash strapped or cash hungry young person who saw a way to stick it to the man, and get a little piece of the rock many years later.
Here is one such example, that should give pause, but probably won't. This is a reproduction of the About page of These Stone Walls, a web site devoted to Father Gordon MacRae's unjust incarceration over alleged sexual abuse.
“There is no segment of the American population with less civil liberties protection than the average American Catholic priest.” William Donohue, Ph.D., President of the Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights (NBC’s “TODAY,” 10/13/05.)
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Exodus 20:16
“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, 1742.
On September 23, 2009, Father Gordon MacRae marked fifteen years in a cell in the New Hampshire State Prison. Father MacRae is 56 years old. The crimes for which he was accused and convicted are claimed to have occurred when he was between 25 and 30 years old. Brought with no evidence or corroboration whatsoever, the claims were accompanied by lawsuits settled by his Diocese for hundreds of thousands of dollars despite evidence of fraud.
In 2005, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The Wall Street Journal published an account of the travesty of justice by which Father Gordon MacRae was convicted (see “A Priest’s Story” above). It is a story, as described by Father Richard John Neuhaus in First Things magazine, of “a Church and a justice system that seem indifferent to justice.”
Father MacRae maintains his innocence of these crimes, and could have left prison over 12 years ago had he accepted any of the “plea deals” presented to him before trial. In the years since the panic-driven and selective release of files and other accumulated claims and demands for money – but no evidence – some began to take a closer look under the surface of the case against Father Gordon MacRae. What is found there is troubling to anyone concerned for the state of due process, justice, and liberty in America.
The late Cardinal Avery Dulles and The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus encouraged Father MacRae to write. Cardinal Dulles wrote in 2005:
“Someday your story and that of your fellow sufferers will come to light and will be instrumental in a reform. Your writing, which is clear, eloquent, and spiritually sound will be a monument to your trials.”In 2006, Cardinal Dulles asked Father MacRae to contribute “a new chapter to the volume of Christian literature from believers who were unjustly imprisoned.” Fr. MacRae’s writings from prison have appeared in First Things, Catalyst, The Catholic Response, online at PriestsinCrisis.com and numerous Catholic blogs, and now here at These Stone Walls.
These Stone Walls and Father Gordon MacRae’s defense are sponsored by The National Center for Reason and Justice (www.ncrj.org), and endorsed by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and numerous organizations dedicated to correcting injustice and wrongful convictions in the American criminal justice system.
These Stone Walls is dedicated in memory of Avery Cardinal Dulles and Father Richard John Neuhaus under the patronage of St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Pio of Petrelcina. All were champions of truth, justice, and fidelity.But, God is still on His Throne, and will judge the just and the unjust alike, and all will be well.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in your love for Father Gordon MacRae, and for his accusers, and all those who have profited from his unjust incarceration.