"From this time, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him." John 6:66
Two comments: First, I googled MacRae and he has a web site, (who doesn't?) and he has posted articles supporting his position from 2005 from Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal. Ms Rabinowitz is, IMO one of the best journalists writing today. I have found her to to be accurate and thorough in everything from investigative journalism to Broadway reviews. There are few journalists I would take at face value, she is one.Secondly, I still have doubts concerning Fr MacRae because it is one of my own life lessons that people will often put themselves in positions that create their problems. However, I am inclined to give him benefit of my doubt because his ministry was to put himself in contact with troubled youth; it was his job deal with these risks. So what seems likely, considering the time this occurred, Fr MacRae was operating with both imperfect training (e.g. having witnesses in the room at all times or controlling the situation so claims would be easier to investigate, how to deal with the insane) and a reactionary 'top cover'. The same mentality of the Boston Archdiocese that covered up sexual abuse would easily convert to employing a 'blame thrower' on innocent priests both in a misguided effort to protect the Church and more selfish desire to protect themselves.Despite his flamboyant style, he deserves to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. Boston is famous for over reacting to offensive behaviour, from Witch Trails to child molestation. The thought that is most disturbing is the sense that Fr MacRae is abandoned. Does the Archdiocese walk away from one of their own? Are they convinced he is guilty and should be left to the care of the prison ministry? We have discussed transparency and it seems this is a good case for it. I expect Fr MacRae would appreciate it and would go a long way, guilty or not, to showing the Church is working for justice.rcg
America is a puritanical country, and the northeast is the epicenter. What you describe as witch hunts and the desire for purity strikes me as very true. Keep in mind that the Catholic form of Puritanism is Jansenism. Jansenism began in France but really took root in Ireland. Guess what, Boston is an Irish-American stronghold and thus the tension between denial and prosecuting with a vengeance when things are exposed.
Father your point about Jansenism in Ireland is a widespread myth that has no basis whatsoever: http://lxoa.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/jansenism-and-irish-catholicism/
But, Boston is one of the most liberal cities in the country and they loved the Kennedys. Go figure...
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