MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — Bishop Barry Knestout announced he has suspended Father Mark White from any public priestly ministry, effective immediately. White has been openly critical of the Catholic Church’s handling of child sex abuse allegations.
You can view the full statement here.
Because of this, Father White is prohibited from any form of practicing Church ministry, which includes the public celebration of the sacraments and exercising any official functions related to the office of a pastor.
Father White says he will be appealing this and hopes to have this entire issue resolved soon. In April, he was removed from serving as pastor at St. Joseph’s in Martinsville and St. Francis of Assisi in Rocky Mount.
“We’ve got the virus against us, now we’ve got this against us. And I hope and trust in the Lord that it will be a matter of months and we’ll be back to normal as parishes which is what I really long for,” said Father White.
“Then I also hope that we as a church can come to a greater understanding of what we need to do to deal with this larger crisis about how do we embrace those who have suffered sexual abuse and help reconcile everybody to the truth and hopefully to a better future.”
Father White says his appeal of this removal has already gone to the Vatican, but he hasn’t heard back about it yet.
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