Given the compelling story he has to tell, inasmuch as I can, I read his musings written from his jail cell and published on a blog called These Stone Walls. In his posting dated today, December 29, 2010, he concludes with the following New Year's resolution. I'd like to make it my own and invite those who publicly discuss the debacle of Fr. Marcial Maciel and the Legionaries of Christ about which I have written ("Driving Straight on Crooked Lines") to read the full text of Fr. MacRae's article the conclusion of which I transcribe below:
"A New Year’s resolution is an opportunity for personal renewal and self-improvement. The quality of mercy in our Church has suffered much during the scandals of the last two decades. As priests and as Catholics, we have a spiritual responsibility for self-assessment. And self-assessment is exactly what I must do after these experiences with Geraldine and my priests’ support group. All that I described above makes me wonder how many times I also unknowingly set into motion a snippet of rumor or innuendo masked as hard news. I’d like to think I wouldn’t hurt a person’s reputation intentionally, but like most people I can excuse a multitude of my own sins while holding others accountable.
So my own New Year’s resolution is to practice truth in justice, to try holding to a higher standard what reaches the ears of others through me. I cannot control what anyone else says or does, but I can pluck the plank out of my own eye before pointing to the splinters in someone else’s eye.
So I resolve in 2011 to make myself a better person by not setting into motion news based on rumor, innuendo, and half-truths. If I have news to tell, I will first check its truthfulness, and then check my motivation for passing it along. If I fail in this – as will we all – I further resolve to view my failure as a sin for which I must seek Sacramental forgiveness and absolution."