BACK to Blogging, Catholic Priest Disobeys Order in Crisis
By Kerri O'Brien
Channel 8 (ABC-TV affiliate)
March 20, 2020
A Catholic priest banned from blogging is back online to help parishioners through these uncertain times. In November of 2019, Father Mark White was ordered by the Bishop of the Diocese of Richmond to stop blogging or lose his job.
The pastor at St. Joseph’s in Martinsville and St. Francis of Assisi in Rocky Mount had been critical of the church’s handling of its sexual abuse cases. Bishop Barry Knestout ordered him into silence.
Father White has been obeying the order, until now. For about week, he’s been back at it. He’s been blogging about the pandemic, past pandemics, church closures as well as the felony sex abuse charges filed this week against a Virginia priest.
Father White said he felt he needed to foster pastoral communication through this crisis. In a statement to 8News he said:
It’s a real challenge for us spiritually. They’ve had to shut down church services at the very time when we need the Lord more than ever. But He’s still with us. He hears our prayers, and we can stay connected with Him, and with each other, through the internet, until this crisis passes.”
It’s not clear if the Bishop has seen the blog yet or what he will do. You may recall, Bishop Knestout is in self quarantine and awaiting the results of a Coronavirus test.