Money is a big motivator and I have no doubt that there were innocent priests caught up in the horrendous sex abuse scandals because somebody saw a cash cow and hired an unscrupulous lawyer to milk it. Just make an accusation and get the payoff. Unfortunately, an accusation of sex abuse was often all it took to ruin a priest's reputation and bishops were quick to throw the accused under the bus to divert attention from their own cover ups.
The idea that an accusation equals guilt flies in the face of our legal system of presumed innocence, but in many dioceses an accusation was all it took to get a priest booted and a diocese to make a payout jeopardizing the investigation and determination of guilt. How many innocent men were caught up amidst the guilty? How many never got a fair hearing in court?
Fr. MacRae certainly seems to be one of them. Reading his story is shocking and sad. Dorothy Rabinowitz who wrote about Father in 2005 just published an updated article in the Wall Street Journal. Check it out here and the original story here. And you can also read Fr. MacRae's writings at These Stone Walls.