Mark White Judy Rogers
His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet
Prefect, Congregation of Bishops
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
Piazza Pio XII, 10
00193 Roma, Italia
July 2, 2020
I write today re Fr. Mark White, who was suspended from his ministry by Bishop Barry Knestout, Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, USA.
I am confident that mine is not the first letter you have received about this grievous matter. Many other letters of support have been sent to you from loving and deeply upset parishioners, who have been blessed with having Fr. White as their priest. People came to Mass not out of a sense of duty, but to hear him preach, and to receive the spiritual nourishment he provided. He inspired us all with a desire to better serve God and to seek a deeper spiritual commitment.
I insert the following from a previous letter by Ms. B. Harmon, dated June 23, 2020 (with her permission) as a brief refresher of the subject matter: “…Fr. White re-opened his web blog during the COVID-19 shutdown to communicate with his parishioners sheltering at home. Fr. White had closed his blog at the bishop’s request in November, 2019. The bishop has asked Fr. White to terminate his blog (its primary purpose to house his homilies, 12 years of content), because he also used it as a forum to express personal commentary and information about newly uncovered scandals related to the sex-abuse issue beginning with the announcement of allegations against Theodore McCarrick in June 2018 (McCarrick had ordained Fr. Mark White in 2003).”
Fr. Mark’s writing about such problems are not a “first.” In Jude, vs. 3, 4 we read: “Beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For admission has been secretly gained by some who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly persons who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
It has been known for years that sexual perversion and sexual abuse have become rampant in the Catholic Church. Yet rarely was anything admitted or done about it, other than payoffs. (In addition to that scandal, we have learned of the gross misuse of funds by some members of the hierarchy, including those who lived in mansions, enjoyed lives of luxury and self-indulgence, all of which in no way reflected the life lived by our Savior Jesus Christ while on earth.)
Fr. White filed an appeal to the Bishop’s actions. The Bishop, during the interim time, moved swiftly to remove Fr. White from his priestly duties, disregarding the Canon laws that protect a priest while his appeal is being heard. These actions are a matter of record, which I will not bore you with repeating. I assure you, however, that parishioners are very aware of the bishop’s actions and reacting accordingly.
I also write with the knowledge that the Vatican has responded to Fr. White’s appeal to the effect that because the lawyer’s submission omitted one word, “procurator,” at the beginning, this nullified the entire case. That information was received by Fr. White and his lawyer in a time frame that appeared designed to stop additional efforts. This reeks of deliberate efforts to stop this appeal immediately.