By Ryan A. MacDonald
(A Ram in the Thicket) How did such a thing happen? The Catholicism page of the media site, About.com provides an annual forum for readers to select the very best in Catholic media - everything from best Catholic book, newspaper, and television/radio, to best Catholic blog and other electronic media. This year, someone in the Catholic online world nominated These Stone Walls, the blog of imprisoned priest, Father Gordon MacRae for the category of Best Catholic Blog in an enormous field of worthy candidates. These Stone Walls became a Finalist, and that this writing, it has shot up to second place in a short list of five of the best Catholic blogs selected by readers of About.com. Readers may register a vote, once per day if they wish, at the Best Catholic Blog ballot right here.
Though of course dwarfed by the coming Conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, the story of this honor bestowed upon an imprisoned priest and his writings is an important Catholic news story. For over a decade, accused Catholic priests have been vilified and bludgeoned without mercy in both the secular and Catholic media. Organizations such as SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and VOTF, the Voice of the Faithful, have risen up seemingly for the sole purpose of denouncing the Church's disciplines withing the priesthood and priests themselves when they are accused of claims that usually date back 30, 40, or 50 years. There is rarely any evidence beyond the word of someone who stands to gain a windfall settlement just for making the claim.
The result has been a decade of irrational finger-pointing during which the Constitutional and canonical rights of accused priests have been obliterated in the court of public opinion. These groups, and the mainstream media's unwavering commitment to giving their agendas the last and loudest word in all things Catholic, have teamed to demoralize priests and even turn them upon each other.
Ironically, Father Gordon MacRae provided a spellbinding example in a recent post at TheseStoneWalls.com published on the very day the Best Catholic Blog finalists were announced. In an article entitled "Giving Up Resentment for Lent," the imprisoned priest once again called himself and his readers to take the high road in the face of adversity. He wrote of the painful recent experience of being denounced by priests of his own diocese. Displaying the very attributes that make These Stone Walls consistently stand out in the field of Catholic media, the vilified priest wrote of his Lenten challenge to channel anger and head off through prayer his all-too human feelings of resentment and retaliation - "A toxic mix, destined for another but ending up in your own tea," he wrote... (continued)
- Vote for Best Catholic Blog
- Giving Up Resentment for Lent: Calisthenics for Your Soul
- The Catholic Press Needs to Get Over Its Father Maciel Syndrome
- Priests are victims too, Vatican told
- Bishop Takes Pawn: Plundering The Rights of a Prisoner-Priest (Father Gordon MacRae)
- Father Gordon MacRae's These Stone Walls - Musings From Prison of a Priest Falsely Accused
- Alarming New Evidence May Exonerate Imprisoned Priest
- Special Report: New Appeal Filed in the Case of Fr. Gordon MacRae
- New Trial Motion Filed for Father Gordon MacRae
- Memorandum of Law in Support of a Motion for a New Trial (.pdf)
- Thy Brother’s Keeper: Why Wrongful Convictions Should Matter to You
- Trial by Therapists - by Ryan A. MacDonald
- Dr. Bill Donohue Discussing Fr. Gordon MacRae and SNAP on EWTN's The World Over
- A Touch of Deja Vu: The Case against Rev. Gordon MacRae - by Ryan A. MacDonald
- To Azazel: Father Gordon MacRae and the Gospel of Mercy - by Ryan A. MacDonald
- A Priest and His Wounds: Padre Pio Under Investigation
- SNAP Judgments Part II: Ground Zero of the Catholic Scandal
- SNAP Judgements Part I: Catholic Priests Among the Public Ruins - by Fr. Gordon MacRae
- As The Year of the Priest Ends, Are Civil Liberties for Priests Intact?
- SNAP EXPOSED: Unmasking the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - by William A. Donohue, Ph.D.