Author Archive for Fr. Gordon J. MacRae

Jail Bars and Hands
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Dangerous Liaisons: Martha Coakley and Bernard Baran

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Justice is obscured when prosecutors use criminal convictions to bolster political ambition. Justice is defeated when prosecutors deny their mistakes to get elected. The French word, “liaison” comes from an older French word, related to the Latin word, “ligere”, meaning “to bind together.” Somewhere in its tangled etymological history, “liaison” was transformed in common usage […]

When the Vicar of Christ Imitates Christ, Why is it so Alarming?
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When the Vicar of Christ Imitates Christ, Why is it so Alarming?

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It now seems so long ago, but just eight months ago Pope Benedict the Beloved resigned the papacy. Catholics had no modern frame of reference for such an event, and many with agendas of their own in the news media, and even in the Church, used our shock and dismay to sow discord and doubt. […]

The International Criminal Court Has Dismissed SNAP’s Last Gasp
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The International Criminal Court Has Dismissed SNAP’s Last Gasp

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SNAP’s 2011 petition charged the Holy See with “crimes against humanity,” but the International Criminal Court unmasked SNAP’s true agenda – and rejected it. The headline was “The Hague Tosses SNAP’s Nutty Lawsuit Against the Vatican, SNAP’s Latest P.R. Stunt Exposed.” The Hague is the seat of government of the Netherlands, and the base of […]

What Dreams May Come: Azazel and the Pursuit of Justice
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What Dreams May Come: Azazel and the Pursuit of Justice

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In “Nightmares and Dreamscapes from the Desert,” a These Stone Walls post during Lent last year, I wrote of a recurring dream I’ve had throughout 18 years of imprisonment. The dream had multiple variations and outcomes, all of them anxiety producing, but one version in particular seemed to be an archetype for the dream’s central […]

“I Am a Mystery to Myself” The Last Days of Padre Pio
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“I Am a Mystery to Myself” The Last Days of Padre Pio

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For half the 20th Century, Saint Padre Pio suffered the wounds of Christ. All of them, including the cynicism of doubt and the tyranny of false witness. In the August-September issue of Inside the Vatican magazine, Australian journalist Paul MacLeod has a fascinating article reviewing two books by Paul Badde, The Face of God (Ignatius Press 2010) […]

The Catholic Press Needs to Get Over Its Father Maciel Syndrome
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The Catholic Press Needs to Get Over Its Father Maciel Syndrome

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The Catholic Press Association’s June convention handed out lots of awards, but none was for covering the story of Catholic priests falsely accused. This is Part II of a post I wrote [on my blog] at this time last year entitled “The High Cost of Father Marcial Maciel and Why I Resent Paying It.” To […]

In the Absence of Fathers: A Story of Elephants and Men
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In the Absence of Fathers: A Story of Elephants and Men

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Wade Horn, Ph.D., President of the National Fatherhood Initiative, had an intriguing article entitled “Of Elephants and Men” in a recent issue of  Fatherhood Today magazine. I found Dr. Horn’s story about young elephants to be simply fascinating, and you will too. Some years ago, officials at the Kruger National Park and game reserve in South Africa […]

The True Story of Thanksgiving: Squanto, the Pilgrims, and the Pope
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The True Story of Thanksgiving: Squanto, the Pilgrims, and the Pope

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We and the Mayflower Pilgrims owe thanks to the Pope and some Catholic priests for the Thanksgiving of 1621 with Squanto and the Plymouth Colony. Growing up within sight of Boston, Massachusetts meant lots of grade school field trips to the earliest landmarks of America. We looked forward to those excursions because they meant a […]

Thy Brother’s Keeper: Why Wrongful Convictions Should Matter to You
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Thy Brother’s Keeper: Why Wrongful Convictions Should Matter to You

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The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners – and clear evidence of a wrongful conviction problem. No one can watch the Oscar-winning 1993 film, The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, without rooting for Dr. Richard Kimball. We empathize with this skilled surgeon […]

A Shower of Roses
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A Shower of Roses

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In the mid-1980’s, I spent a lot of time with Michelle, a seventeen year-old parishioner who suffered from a terminal brain tumor. In the last weeks of her life on Earth, I visited with her every day. It’s difficult to declare God’s love to a dying teenager and her family. It was a humbling way […]

A 9/11 Account Like You Have Never Heard
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A 9/11 Account Like You Have Never Heard

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I was ten years old on November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas. Forty-eight years later, every detail of what I was doing as the news unfolded on that infamous day remains vividly engraved in my mind’s eye. Every generation seems to have these […]

Saints Alive! Padre Pio and the Stigmata: Sanctity on Trial
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Saints Alive! Padre Pio and the Stigmata: Sanctity on Trial

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Today,  May 25, is Saint Padre Pio’s birthday. Francesco Forgione, who became the modern world’s most beloved Saint Padre Pio, was born 124 years ago today on 25 May 1887 to Mario Forgione and Maria Giuseppa de Nunzio Forgione in Pietrelcina, Italy. On the next day, 26 May 1887, he was baptized. Padre Pio was proclaimed […]

The Beatification of Pope John Paul II: When the Wall Fell
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The Beatification of Pope John Paul II: When the Wall Fell

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It’s fitting that the beatification of Pope John Paul II will take place on Divine Mercy Sunday.  His very presence on the global stage exemplified Divine Mercy. There have been 265 popes in the life of the Church. Eighty-one of them are saints. On May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday, God willing, Pope Benedict XVI will […]

Simon of Cyrene and the Scandal of the Cross
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Simon of Cyrene and the Scandal of the Cross

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And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross (Mark 15:2). And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross to carry behind […]