When I first heard about Fr. Gordon MacRae's case, I was tempted to chalk it up to another guilty priest claiming his innocence, but the more I read, the more I could see the holes in the case against him.
I first heard about this priest's story from a site called Priests in Crisis. Along with Fr. Gordon's story, I read about becoming a spiritual mother for priests. After much prayer about not only the validity of Fr. Gordon's story, but also about becoming a spiritual mother to a priest, I signed up with the organization that assigns women a priest to pray for each year~Opus Sanctorum Angelorum. So in effect, Fr. Gordon, without his knowing it, had something to do with my taking on this prayerful role for our priests.
Fr. Gordon posts to These Stone Walls every Wednesday, a blog which he has never seen as there is no internet access for prisoners. There are several dedicated ladies in various parts of the world who take care of the actual posting once father mails his post to one of them. Comments are read to him over the phone and also mailed to him. If you have never visited These Stone Walls, I encourage you to do so. Fr. Gordon writes on a variety of topics and all things considered, is quite able to maintain his sense of humor.
This injustice is happening to more than one priest and the statistics on it are frightening.
While the thought of anyone, priest or not, abusing another another human being, especially a child, repulses and angers me beyond words, I do not believe every priest accused is guilty, and they should not be presumed guilty until proven innocent.(The attempt at the proven innocent part seems to often get left by the wayside.) I also believe the truly guilty should be punished along with the bishops who try to cover for the guilty.
Part of the reason for this post was to make others aware of Fr. Gordon's case, but the heart of the matter is to ask my readers and anyone who stumbles upon this post to join in a novena for Fr. Gordon that will begin tomorrow, August 22 (The Feast of Mary's Queenship) . You can read more about the nine day novena over at Esther's blog, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii.
Mary at The Beautiful Gate also has written a wonderful post on Fr. MacRae's case titled Fr. Gordon MacRae~ Scaling the Walls of Injustice.
One of the ironic aspects of my return to the Church is that it occurred in 2002 at the height of the sexual abuse scandal. It would have been a seemingly perfect excuse not to return, but the thought never crossed my mind. While I knew what was going on, God also gave me some temporary spiritual shields and protected me from those antagonizing thoughts.
Satan is having a field day with this scandal. He knows the way to ruin the Church is to do away with our priests~no priests, no Mass. No Mass, no Jesus in the Eucharist. We need to pray for our priests, those who are in crisis, and those who are not. They need our support, prayers and encouragement. They are on the front lines of this battle. Please consider joining in the novena for Fr. Gordon.
Let us entrust him and all our priests to Our Lady's loving protection as we celebrate the feast of Mary's Queenship.