Recommended online reading at “These Stone Walls”

Please run, don’t walk, to These Stone Walls, the blog of Fr. Gordon MacCrae, unjustly jailed and innocent of crimes against minors.

It’s a long read, and a lurid in many ways, but it reveals the slimy underside of the Accuse–a-Priest industry.

The results of the damage?

The damage was summed up in a single sentence by Canadian Catholic blogger, Michael Brandon, in an assessment of These Stone Walls:

“The Catholic Church has become the safest place in the world for young people and the most dangerous place in the world for Catholic priests.”

It seems that fraud is catching up with some of the frauds who made false accusations.   The question is: will there eventually be justice?

Among other things that MacCrae’s piece presents is the tale of “seismic fall” of SNAP and the monumental but profitable shakedown of a liar and the anti-Catholic MSM that propped him up.

About Fr. MacCrae:


On September 23, 1994, Father Gordon MacRae, a priest of the Diocese of Manchester, NH, was confined to a prison cell to begin a sentence of sixty seven years in the New Hampshire State Prison. At this writing, he is 64 years old. The crimes for which he is imprisoned for life were alleged to have occurred when he was between 25 and 30 years old. Brought with no evidence or corroboration whatsoever, the claims were accompanied by monetary demands which his diocese settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars despite evidence of fraud.

In 2013, Dorothy Rabinowitz, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer on The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, published “The Trials of Father MacRae,” her third major installment in a series of articles recounting the perversion of justice by which Father MacRae was tried and convicted. It is a story, as described by the late Father Richard John Neuhaus in First Things magazine, of “a Church and a justice system that seem indifferent to justice.”

Father MacRae maintains his innocence of these claims, an assertion of truth for which he has paid a very high price. Had he accepted one of several well documented pre-trial “plea deals” offered by the State, he could have left prison after one year. For standing by the truth, Father MacRae now serves a draconian prison term more than sixty times the sentence that would have been imposed had he in fact been guilty or willing to pretend so. As Dorothy Rabinowitz observed in The Wall Street Journal:

“Those aware of the facts of this case find it hard to imagine that any court today would ignore the perversion of justice it represents.”


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kent Wendler says:

    Father MacRae appears to be following the footsteps of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, O.F.M. Conv.

    I have recently written a book (unpublished, to be sure) and am revising it; about various spiritual meditations. In part of it I have become only too aware of how transient this life is and the only important part is how we are preparing ourselves for our own personal encounter with TRUTH and the instance of our own personal judgment. Father MacRae would seem to be preparing himself well, with patience and fortitude.

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  4. pannw says:

    Be prepared to spend time lost in the beauty of Father MacRae’s writing when you do go. Oh the hours I have spent surfing from one link to the next! And on everything from The Big Bang to the brokenness of the deportation process. I have learned so much from behind those stone walls. But have a box of tissues handy. The injustices he has experienced and the goodness Our Awesome Lord has brought about despite them often have me wavering between tears of sorrow, outrage, and then to joy. I am so thankful I found him. I think his blog was first brought to my attention here. So thank you, too, Fr. Z!

    In light of the news out today about Cardinal Pell, I am especially glad to know Fr. MacRae’s story and the stories of other priests falsely accused he has brought to attention on TSW. I’m tired of priests being the only ones not afforded any presumption of innocence at all, particularly by the Church hierarchy. God help them.

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  6. I’m writing this on behalf of Father Gordon J MacRae:

    I deeply appreciate Father Zuhlsdorf’s support for this important story and of the cause of justice for falsely accused priests. There has been an important development. On the day after this was posted here and on TheseStoneWalls, Philadelphia Prosecutor Seth Williams stopped his trial and took a plea deal in this case. He was allowed to plead guilty to one of the 29 charges while admitting to the truth of all of them. He was ordered held without bail and faces five years in Federal prison as part of the plea deal. The saddest part of this story at this juncture is that it keeps from public view all the rest of the potential history of abuse of due process and prosecutorial misconduct in his open persecution of Catholic priests like Monsignor William Lynn and the late Father Charles Englehardt.

    Father Gordon J MacRae

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