About Father Gordon J. MacRae
On September 23, 1994, as a priest of the Diocese of Manchester, NH, I was confined to a prison cell to begin a sentence of sixty seven years in the New Hampshire State Prison. At this writing, I am 66 years old.
The crimes for which I am imprisoned for life were alleged to have occurred when I was between 25 and 30 years old. Brought with no evidence or corroboration, the claims were accompanied by monetary demands which my diocese settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars despite evidence of fraud.
Be sure to scroll down to find links to my case documents.
A documentary film crew, The Wall Street Journal, and others have interviewed me.
Why I Write This Blog
At this writing, I have been wrongfully imprisoned for 25 years of a 67-year sentence when I could have left prison after one year on a plea deal had I embraced a lie. I would do anything to leave prison with my name restored, but I will never surrender my priesthood, or the Gospel, or the truth for a freedom that would be false. So I write!
Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage:
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage.
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.
To Althea from Prison by Richard Lovelace in 1642
Q: What has been the Fallout from the Abuse of the Abuse Crisis?
The last quarter century has seen widespread erosion of the rights and civil liberties of Catholic priests. The concept of “Guilty for Being Accused” entered the public square in the 2018 Senate Confirmation Hearings for Justice Brett Cavanaugh, but it has applied to Catholic priests for several decades.
Even Church officials have succumbed to pressure to abandon due process and legitimate inquiry in favor of #BelieveSurvivors. My own bishop recently wrote in a published article entitled “Restoring Trust”:
Here we have not only compiled resources for victim-survivors… and those who wish to report abuse, but . . . also the names of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor since 1950.
He and other bishops no longer even bother with words like “credibly accused” or “substantiated.
The process of “paying off” virtually all claims without legitimate investigation has served only to place large numbers of Catholic priests in harm’s way.
Unscrupulous detectives and prosecutors offer plea deals to rack up quick confessions and convictions to further their careers and political status. Leveling up their arrest and conviction stats is the game they play.
Plea deals put actual sexual predators back on the streets within months to hunt again.
False accusers of sexual abuse undermine justice and closure for true victims.
Those falsely-accused and convicted who pled “Not Guilty” serve decades including life terms with no access to prison privileges. There is no advantage in claiming innocence in prison.
Q: So, what specific actions can I take to help?
Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. ~ Saint John Paul II
Solutions during a time of moral panic are seldom applied easily or evenly. Priests and laity must both demand basic fairness and the preservation of rights for the accused. This is especially so in so-called “historic” claims of abuse that can be the ruin of a priest.
Focus on Christ and not on the storm as the Gospels teach in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25. Pray and reflect on what Christ is asking of you during these treacherous times.
Pray the Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet. Through His Sorrowful Passion, Christ redeemed us all . . . we’re all in this raging storm together, and we must bolster each other in Faith and perseverance.
Demand Canonical and Civil Due Process for any falsely-accused priest you know. This may mean helping him out materially and spiritually. He will need to speak with a lay canon lawyer immediately before attending any diocesan meeting. He will have to fight to save his priesthood in this witchhunt climate. Make sure he is not alone in this fight.
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More About My Case & The Abuse of the Abuse Crisis
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