Despite Vatican’s ruling, Virginia priest who blogs about clergy sex abuse remains defiant

WRIC via WJHL in Johnson City TN

June 23, 2020

By Dean Mirshahi

“There’s nothing I want more than to serve in peace as a parish priest. But I can’t give in to something that goes against our own principles.”

A Catholic Diocese of Richmond priest who frequently blogs criticism over the church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse had his petition to remain the pastor of two southwest Virginia parishes rejected by the Vatican.

Rev. Mark D. White was suspended from the ministry by Richmond Bishop Barry Knestout last month after being ordered in April to leave two parishes, St. Joseph’s in Martinsville and St. Francis of Assisi in Rocky Mount, and relocate to a retreat center in Abingdon, Virginia.

“As your Advocate, Mr. Podhajsky, has told you, the Congregation for Clergy has directed you leave the assignment as pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Martinsville, and St. Francis of Assisi, Rocket Mount, in accord to my original letter of April 13, 2020,” Knestout wrote in a letter dated June 17 to White.

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