These Stone Walls’ guest post comes to us from Rome. Father George David Byers is our Missionary of Mercy. He has great news to report.
It is with great joy that I write to you directly from Saint Peter’s square on Ash Wednesday, on the day of the commissioning of the Missionaries of Mercy. What this post lacks in length (as it is written entirely on my phone), will be made up for by the far reaching news I have the joy to report.
On Shrove Tuesday evening, the Missionaries of Mercy gathered at Castel Sant’Angelo of Saint Michael fame, and then walked together in pilgrimage to the Holy Door at Saint Peter’s Basilica, walking through the door, drawn into the side, the Sacred Heart of the Immaculate Conception’s Divine Son, Jesus.
Leaving behind any aspect of our lives not completely given over to Christ, with resolve to be in humble thanksgiving to our Lord, we entered into the unfathomable riches of His Mercy. I heartily recommend this journey to TSW readers through a Holy Door in your respective dioceses.
At the same time, I weep that there is no talk of Mercy and no Holy Door of Mercy in this Year of Mercy at the New Hampshire State Prison for men, where falsely accused Father Gordon MacRae has already lived the injustice of decades of wrongful imprisonment.
Even while I listen to the Holy Father’s gracious words encouraging an enthusiastic manifestation of Mercy, I bear in my heart in all solidarity the priests who have been thrown into the unreachably dark meta-peripheries by way of a purposed lack of due process.
The explicit policy and process ensuring injustice enforced by insurance companies such as The National Catholic Risk Retention Group is to hold that those accused are not defendants, but rather the diocese which holds the merely accused priest to be automatically guilty (just because of being ordained). Lawyers are to be avoided and settlements made, and priests’ throats slit as soon as possible, regardless of guilt or innocence.
Those who are falsely accused do not want mercy, but rather the mercy of justice. They want due process, not jury stacking. They want justice, not manipulatable administrative decisions that can favor what self-referential bishops want instead of what justice demands as a manifestation of mercy.
Being in Rome, where many administrative processes take place, I made it a point to speak to very many in the know, and I was provided tidings of great joy.
Pope Francis, the Supreme Pontiff of Mercy, has made the astounding, far reaching decision to forbid any more administrative judgments. This means that bishops will now be accountable for their lack of providing due process. This means that the mercy of justice has arrived.
On behalf of all priests, I thank you, Pope Francis, our Supreme Pontiff of Divine Mercy.