‘It does not have to be this way’: Father White says locked out of Martinsville, Rocky Mount parishes following suspension


May 11, 2020

Father Mark White — a local priest who has been openly critical of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and was recently suspended — announced on his blog on Sunday that the locks were changed on two parishes and one residence to which he was assigned.

Back in February, Father White told reporters that he was ordered into silence by the Richmond Diocese Bishop Barry Knestout after he expressed criticism online of the church’s handling of sexual abuse cases.

However, by April, Father White announced the Richmond Diocese removed him as pastor from St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Rocky Mount and St. Joseph Parish in Martinsville. Father White’s parishioners stepped up to show their support for the priest amid his ongoing legal battle with the Richmond Diocese.

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