Prohibited from Ministering

I am sorry that Bishop Knestout has decided to prohibit me from celebrating the sacraments, preaching, or ministering in any way, for the time being. The bishop has the authority to do this, temporarily.

I disagree with the reasons that Bishop Knestout has given for doing this. I think he has misjudged the situation. I’m not a perfect pastor. But I have done nothing to deserve this; our parishes have done nothing to deserve this. I will dispute his action by the appeal process within the Church.

The virus has us all under a great strain. Our normal, peaceful life seems far away. Let’s cling to the Lord Jesus. He came into the world as light, to dispel the darkness. He came to save the sinful world. He will lead us to better days, one little step at a time.

Lo siento mucho que el obispo ha elegido a prohibirme de celebrar los sacramentos, predicar, o servirles a Uds. como sacerdote, por el momento. El obispo tiene la autoridad para hacer esto, temporalmente.

No estoy de acuerdo con las razones que el obispo ha dada por hacer esto. Pienso que el ha equivocadose sobre la situación. No soy párroco perfecto, pero no he hecho nada para merecer esto; nuestras parroquias no han hecho nada para merecerlo. Voy a discutir la decisión del obispo por el proceso canonical de la Iglesia.

El virus nos ha pesado mucho. Andamos bajo una gran tensión. Nuestra vida normal y pacifica parece muy lejos. Quedamos pegado al Señor Jesús. El vino al mundo par ser la luz, para disipar la oscuridad. El vino para salvar al mundo pecaminoso. El va a guiarnos a días mejores, paso a paso.

25 thoughts on “Prohibited from Ministering

  1. You never know how to stay out of trouble Father Mark..,

    For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion

  2. Looks like the church is proving many of your points Fr. Mark. God be with you. Our bishop is a boob and that won’t change no matter who is the “pastor” of any church in his diocese.

  3. Since the bishop cannot prohibit us from ministering to you, perhaps this is a time where the tables are turned, where you have the opportunity to receive from your extended family and friends! May it please God that the time be short before you can resume your ministerial duties or that as a gift for your sacrifice, the church may experience an awakening of significant proportions.

    Keep our priests, I pray thee, dear Lord,
    Keep them for they are yours;
    Your priests whose lives burn out before your consecrated shrine.
    Keep them for they are in the world though from the world apart;
    When earthly pleasures tempt, allure — shelter them in your Heart.
    Keep them and comfort them in hours of loneliness and pain.
    When all their life of sacrifice for souls seem but in vain.
    Keep them and remember, O Lord, they have no one but you.
    Yet they have only human hearts, with human frailty.
    Keep them as spotless as the Host, that daily they caress.
    Their every thought and word and deed, deign, dear Lord, to bless.
    Amen.
    Mary, mother of clergy, pray for them!
    https://clevelandpriestaday.weebly.com/prayers.html

  4. Another thing.
    Why doesn’t the church see that the way they have handled this crisis of sexual abuse has destroyed the very “Community” the Bishop claims to be protecting. It’s is utter and complete hypocrisy and it stinks to high heaven. I will continue to pray for the hierarchy of our Holy Mother Church and the salvation of their very souls, however, I count them as enemies and Judas’.

  5. You and he both are in my prayers…i disagree with what hes doing even more how hes doing it and pray for his change of heart …. and i pray for your sanity but also not to lose touch with who you are….or why all this was important to start with…

  6. Bishop Knestout is acting disgracefully. Putting an announcement on the Diocesan website as was done today (https://richmonddiocese.org/bishop-knestout-suspends-priest-from-active-ministry-in-the-catholic-diocese-of-richmond/) is dangerous to Fr Mark and his reputation. In the current climate (i.e., the church sexual abuse rather than the viral pandemic) any reasonable “passerby” reading it might immediately suspect a priest is accused of sexual abuse and thus being hastily yanked from service. Nowhere in this terse announcement is his reputation guarded in this most important way. How ironic. A priest who is standing up for victims is publicly humiliated in a way that some might misinterpret in the worst way. Shame on the bishop and his sycophants.
    This attempt to muzzle Fr White and quiet his parishioners will ultimately only come back to bite the bishop. When will the bishop answer the questions posed about McCarrick and his own tenure in the ADW under McCarrick? If unity and communion are the goals as he says, then transparency, honesty and respect are sorely needed.

  7. This too will pass and the truth will prevail. I pray for you, Father, and the Bishop. Please know many people are behind you and understand for healing to occur everything must be exposed. I continue to believe you were chosen for a specific purpose…to expose and help heal many wounded souls. God’s will shall ultimately be done in His way and in His time. The heirarchy has promised transparancy…,there is no evidence of it.

  8. I am so sorry you have to endure this, Father Mark. I will continue to keep you and your parishoners in my prayers.

  9. I am profoundly sorry, Father Mark. Please stay strong and hopeful during this increased state of stress. You are a good person, an admired priest, and, loved more than you know.
    Ginny Fisher
    St. Andrew’s Roanoke

  10. What a travesty and wound to the Church in our diocese. May God give you strength, Fr. Mark, during this persecution by the Bishop.

  11. You are the American Vigano ! I believe Vigano 100% and the Church is beholden to him , for exposing the corruption around McCarrick .Since then , he has spoken out about many other failings in the present day Church , even very serious doctrinal issues . You know how we all feel about you , Fr. Mark Be assured of our daily prayers and Masses for your intention . You are not alone . I am not sure about the size of the congregation that Fr. Segerblom will see , when the lockdown is over . We can all show our displeasure by attending other Churches – The anniversary of your Ordination day is coming up and I look forward to seeing you . May St Joseph intercede for you . Love, Maureen

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  12. Even as I learned earlier today about the Bishop’s disgraceful actions toward you, a priest on TV was speaking on Romans 8:28: “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” It could not have been more timely. It is hard to see this happening to you, especially when it is from a spiteful and vindictive Bishop. I believe God has a plan for this, in spite of the heartbreak of it all. I do not mean these to be idle words–I realize I am not the one being suspended. But please know, as I believe you do, that the hearts of your parishioners hurt deeply for you today. We will do anything in our power to help you through this, just call upon us and let us know. You are paying a price for serving God so faithfully. May God protect you, strengthen you and give you peace.
    Love, Judy

  13. Of course, having fans at the white, nationalist Church Militant probably does you no favors.

    Why do you censor comments?

  14. I am so sorry, Fr. Mark. You are in my daily prayers. St. Padre Pio went through something similar. May he give you peace and comfort along with Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. Sending love you and encouragement your way.

  15. I have followed you on Twitter ever since I attended Mass over Christmas 2018 when visiting Martinsville from UK.
    I have found your writings interesting up lifting and yes occasionally quite eye brow raising. Always I have clearly seen that you love our blessed Lord with your whole being and I long to see the whole truth being revealed to the members of His church.
    God bless you Fr Mark and all YOUR parishioners. May all be sorted very soon.
    Carole Q

  16. Stay strong Father Mark, the only one you need to please is Jesus. I know the politics of the church makes things almost impossible for many priests and religious. We used to say ‘no win situation’, but it only seems that way. Jesus will set the record straight someday. Just imagine when he looks at those who do these things to the Body of Christ. One day He will remind them, ‘what you did to the least of my brethren you did to Me!” And woe betide them then. Prayers for you and for those who dwell in error.

  17. Words cannot express my feelings about the latest action of the Bishop. My first reaction was to hate him but that’s not right.
    This might be a consolation to you: in the past decades, several (now) saints were persecuted because they spoke out about wrongs in the church, for instance: Padre Pio, Bishop Romero, Rutilio Grande, etc.
    Some day you will be pronounced a saint. In the meantime you will have to suffer a lot. We will continue to pray. Lori and Troy

  18. Father mark… you as always are in my prayers…. im really starting to think though… that any of us who wrote the bishop or the higher ups contributed to this… and while my letter strove for diplomacy… maybe it still angered the bishop… so if anything i did or said…. cobtributed at a
    all.. i am quite sorry… i know you are going about things the right way with the canon lawyer and all and sadly i know these things take time…. just know how many are praying for you and for the situation….

  19. You, Father, have been chosen to be another Vigano to unearth the dead wood of our Church that has withered exposing branches which bear no fruit. The seven sorrows of the Blessed Mother will sustain you and I will pray she provides whatever comfort you will need throughout this journey.

  20. Fr. White, if you have gone through so much trouble to keep this blog going, please respond to any reasonable criticisms and questions posed to you. For one, please clarify your meaning in a previous post when you said you are okay with the possibility of losing your status as a Priest. As you know, the Sacrament of Holy Orders enjoys a “permanent, indelible” character. Once a Priest, always a Priest. Moreover, one’s “Vocation” does not ever cease to be relevant to the salvation of one’s soul at the “subjective, affective” level.
    If you have received the Sacrament of “Holy Orders” and this is indeed your God-given “vocation,” then you can never lose your status as a Priest IN THE EYES OF GOD. Is this not true?

    I ask this question because it is plausible that the many corrupt men who unfortunately oversee bureaucratic processes in Rome are going to read canon law “selectively” [[much like U.S. Bishops who typically “cherry pick” the circumstances wherein canon law becomes relevant]]. I imagine Mr. Ted McCarrick’s former secretary and roommate (Bishop Knestout) has many more friends in Rome than you… If this is how things play out and your canonical “faculties” are revoked in the Richmond Diocese, why not pursue incardination into another diocese? (Bishop Strictland; Archbishop Sample, for example). Doesn’t Canon 270 allow for this possibility? (Some of the Franciscan Friars who were recently disbanded by Rome pursued this course of action. One of them recently took vows as a Hermit in the Harrisburg Diocese, despite the fact that these guys have some powerful enemies in the hierarchy. Yet, hey were still able to protect their Vocation).

    You mentioned somewhere that you do not want to leave the Richmond area because you desire to remain present to some of your relatives. Does this mean that in your mind, the responsibilities of your God-given Vocation [[and the indelible mark of Priesthood it entails]] are trumped by your relationship with your Kin? I do not assume to know your thoughts, which is why I ask. The Fathers of the Church must have something relevant to say regarding the following words from Jesus Christ: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Mathew 10:37) “But He said to him, ‘Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.'” (Luke 9:60)

    *P.S. I wager there are Lay Societies from a variety of U.S. localities who would be happy to support your endeavor to care for your aging mother while simultaneously remaining steadfast in your Vocation.

  21. Also, Fr. White, here are two reasonable criticisms previously raised that you never responded to:

    (1) On your post dated “April 15th 2019” you criticized Benedict XVI’s claim that: “Only where faith no longer determines the actions of a man are such offenses [e.g. sexual abuse of minors] possible.” You [Fr. White] retorted: “Holiness Emeritus has written things that aren’t really true… even a cursory examination of the record reveals that faith and sexual abuse can and do often co-exist. Did Theodore McCarrick not believe in God and Christ? I can say with no doubt that he did and likely still does.”

    Your argument against Benedict XVI does not do justice to Sacred Scripture, which states: “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him” (1 Jn. 3:6). Do you believe Saint John is also in error, Fr. White? You apparently equate “abstract rationalistic assent” to “religious faith.” (This is actually a tenet of the Modern Enlightenment). But this is not the kind of religion that St. John and Benedict XVI are talking about. They are speaking of religion as a WAY OF LIFE, i.e., a way of living that opens a man’s soul to the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit [[which McCarrick and his closest allies certainly lack]]. …If you are a humble shepherd of souls, you ought to retract or at least refine your statement against Benedict XVI on this particular matter.

    (2) On your post dated “April 17 2020” you display a photo of Thomas Merton next to St. Therese of Lisieux. By association without clarification, you lead readers with the impression that the two personalities are models of the Hidden Life, i.e., “Christian hermits.”

    In reality, Thomas Merton left the “Hidden Life” of his Trappist monastery and traveled the world preaching Marxist, Zen/Hinduism Hippie nonsense. This is what gained him great notoriety at the height of the ‘glory days’ of Theodore McCarrick and associates! Here is a video of Merton’s last conference only hours before his death. In the video [link provided], Merton explicitly opines that “Karl Marx” and “Dalai Lama” strive for the same purpose as traditional Christian Monasticism. He also claims that “Budhism, Hindism, these great Asian traditions” have gone deeper, “naturally speaking” in understanding and respecting human persons: https://youtu.be/ywE6bhApcSk

    Notwithstanding the fact that Merton was found dead in a motel room a few hours after this same video was recorded, [[he was discovered partially nude lying face down with a mysterious gash on the BACK of his head]] his Bibliography suggests that his path AWAY from a genuinely “Hidden Life” began while he was still living as a Ned Flanders hippie monk in the United States. (refer to Merton’s Bibliography below)

    Fr. White: if your purpose is to tend to the “sheep”of Christ in the face of Predators, it is very ironic. How can you not be sensitive to the fact that “theologically monstrous men” (like Thomas Merton; Cardinal Kasper; James Martin, etc) and “carnally monstrous men” (like McCarrick; SSPX Bishops, etc) are flip sides of the same coin of corruption? Do both of them not achieve the Death of the Church in Souls? [[Thought experiment: how many sex-changes, euthanizations, and abortions has Thomas Merton’s false-humanism justified?]]

    (Merton’s Bibliography)
    Mystics and Zen Masters, 1967
    This is Merton’s first plunge into Eastern thought and religion. Its strength is its mostly cogent description of Chinese Daoism and Zen Buddhism, but one begins to discern Merton’s attitude shifting toward his later developed notion that Eastern religion is a necessary supplement to Catholicism.

    Zen and the Birds of Appetite, 1968
    By now Merton is swimming in Zen—this work is a comparative consideration of Buddhism and Christianity. Seductively expressed, but his overall goal is to erase the lines between two very distinct religious beliefs.

    The Way of Chuang Tzu, 1969
    This is one of Merton’s most problematic works: It valorizes the relativistic teachings of Zhuangzi, the Zhou dynasty Daoist. Here is Merton’s final interweaving of Eastern and Western thought.

    The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton, 1973
    Here we find his final writings, and they are full of cathartic angst. At the end of this journal one senses that Merton has knowingly wandered from clear Church teaching. While in Bankok, a Dutch abbot asked him to appear in a television interview, for “the good of the Church.” But Merton writes that, “It would be much ‘better for the Church’ if I refrained.”

    1. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I don’t remember saying that Thomas Merton is a saint. I consider him a great writer, who wrote about living as a Christian hermit. I leave it to others to judge his doctrine, to the extent that he offered any. …St. James wrote that the demons believe and tremble. The passages of St. John that you quoted do not exclude the possibility of sinners holding the faith; they indicate that unrepentant sinners do not have divine charity and won’t go to heaven. St. Thomas Aq. explains how mortal sin and faith can co-exist in a soul. I have read the words of a number of sex-abuser priests whose consciences tortured them, precisely because they continued to hold the Catholic faith.

  22. My name is Maureen and I feel that what is happening is so sad. With so many Catholics leaving their faith and wondering when the church will really address this issue of sex abuse in our church. It is so sad that the church still has not done what is needed to be done. You cannot just say ok we are better because we are not.! I always say what would Jesus say about all of this pain that has been inflicted on innocent young children that they carry into their life their families and relatives and friends. How many people just cannot understand that the church needs to do more. Hopefully by talking about it and getting to the problem of lack of coming forward and real change. I cannot begin to understand all of this but I do know in my community where my children went to church and I taught religious education there was a issue that was very hush hush and now its out in the open and no one was held accountable. no one. The priest has since committed suicide which is just a coward way out. The bishop and clergy knew it was an issue and the priest was just moved around. One priest who knew about it and did nothing became a bishop really. How is that healing and helping our church. I commend you on bringing up issues and questions. I did write to the pope and to the bishop of Richmond with little response from our bishop. none from the pope but I am just a little small person in a huge group., It is sad as the church is the peoples church and I feel not enough has been done to make changes. Please be strong and know there are many people who do not come to church any more because of a lack of change. I will continue to go but only in a church where the priest is open and caring and looking for change. Nothing works in a church where there are secrets and cover up. I will continue to fight for change and to be a person to try to get the church to change for the better its my church and as long as I have a voice I will continue to talk about this. When I feel I am not being heard I move on to another church to find that one priest who like me cannot tolerate this non change in my church. I want to see marches for change and to see real change in how this abuse will change and for help for all those who have suffered in the cover up and abuse. Well thanks for listening I am a much better talker than writer but you are in my thoughts.

  23. I am amazed that a bishop and “administrator” can be so cruel. I will never look at another bishop the same.
    This awful abuse has been going on for centuries and the hierarchy has been covering it up and is still doing that. Case after case of an abusive priest, bishop, etc. is covered up until he dies, then it is made public.
    We have had 3 priests here in Martinsville who abused altar seevants and even though some of the parishioners had the guts to complain, nothing was done and those who came forward were chastised. Then after those priests died, their names were published. Unless there are more courageous priests like Father Mark, things will never change. The perpetrators will be banished to a cushy monastery or a nice beach house bought with stolen money and that’s all the “punishments” they get. Lori and Troy

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