Guest Post: EmilyMarie Anderson

[published here at the request of the author]

A Letter, to anybody and everybody,

My name is EmilyMarie Anderson and I am 18 years old. Tonight, I sat in the dark thinking about my priest alone in a house that he has essentially been locked into. I thought about my best friend’s letter which our Father put out onto his blog. This isn’t going to be as eloquent, but I have a few things to say.

This is your “troublesome priest:”

I began my journey into the Catholic world at around 16. I was raised Baptist, and had a lot of uneasy feelings about the Catholic Church. This was a church with a leader that they treated like God. They prayed to dead people and worshiped statues… (Or so I thought.)

But my heart felt alone. I knew there was more than the Baptist world. In the Baptist world, you go to a super-long service, involving big songs and the longest sermon you can imagine. When you walk in there, you’re loud and you’re talking. When the pastor makes a point you yell out ‘Amen’ in a country accent. At least, that was my church. My church had an orchestra and all these colored lights. The songs were long, with key changes and solos. To describe my Baptist church in one word: extravagant.

El Greco Virgin Mary

In all of that, I felt so alone. As I grew closer and closer to God, I just felt like there was more. Where was I to find it?

So I did some digging with the people I knew and I emailed this guy, Mark White. I sent him this huge email about what I was feeling. I told him that I wasn’t going to convert to Catholicism most likely, I just wanted to know what was true and what wasn’t.

I remember my excitement when he replied, and he told me the facts. He said something along the lines of “you must have a lot of faith in God to email a Catholic priest.” I’m sure he meant I was reaching far out of the comfort zone of the Baptist church, into the unknown.

But I felt it differently. It was difficult. It was difficult to reach out to a Catholic priest. I could only imagine what my family would think. I was so scared his next email would be for me to meet him somewhere, and that is the honest truth. I was so worried that I was talking to a child molester.

I grew to trust him extremely quickly. He wasn’t one of those priests. This man kept up an email conversation basically up to the present. He would email me back with the utmost thought-provoking, encouraging answers about a week after I sent him an unimaginably long list of questions.

Somewhere along the journey, I felt comfortable calling him Father. Not only because I had fallen in love with the Catholic Church (through his guidance and ever-knowledgeable answers), but because that is simply what he was to me. I was able to confide in him. He understood my worries about joining the Church. He understood my love for the Church, my joy in finding this insane universe I didn’t realize had existed. He was and is a dad to me. A father.

So the Church turned out not to be the Satan-infested hole I thought it was. But there was one more thing that stuck with me… What about this abuse scandal? My parents and I were having a hard enough time navigating this change in our lives without hearing news about the Big Bad Catholic Church on the car radio.

Boston Globe 2002

I learned how to defend the Church in every other way. Why Mary? I got you! Why Confession? I can explain! What’s up with Communion? Well if you look right here in your handy-dandy Bible…

But then there’s this one; “So, what about the abuse scandal?” What on earth am I supposed to say to that?

My basic spiel is “God gave authority to the Church to make doctrinal decisions that were directed by Him. But ultimately, the Church is made out of people. People make mistakes.” Okay, simple enough. Now comes the, “But didn’t the Pope, like, try to cover everything up?”

Where do we go from here?

My priest, Father Mark, helped me make sense of this. I don’t have to support the covering-up of bad stuff. I don’t have to love those mistakes. I can hate the mistakes and love the Church. Remember the whole hate the sin, love the sinner thing? Our God is so amazingly wonderful that He can love us so much that He hates the thing that hurts us without hating us. That’s what we are called to do, right? Hate the thing that hurts us without hating the people who caused the hurting?

I had it all sorted out. I was going to be Catholic, and I knew what to say when people asked the dreaded question involving the scandals. I started going to Mass.

There he was. He walks in, in his big old Catholic robes. He is celebrating God. You can see it, as he walks in, as he bows down. He takes his glasses off when he isn’t speaking, and he looks slightly up, as if he can see God a little better that way. He smiles just a little bit here and there throughout the Mass, as if this is the true delight of his soul.

That’s your “troublesome priest” folks. The guy who got someone else to tell me that he was going to be at the other parish during my Confirmation, because he didn’t want to let me down. The guy who replied to my endless emails within a week. This goofy man has no ill intent. He loves the Church. It is almost funny to think that anyone could see this man and think he was committing some horror, especially against the Church.

What the Church needs is to heal. Every person who makes up the Church needs to look at themselves and find what is broken within them and give it to God. Every person in the Church needs to strive to be the Church of Christ again. The Church herself needs to go to Confession; openly admit what has been wrong, and find out how to fix it.

The good Lord has a reason for this; everything is a blessing. So I beg everyone who sees this to look inside themselves and ask God to make good of what is bad. Heal the Church. God’s will be done.

-EmilyMarie Anderson

33 thoughts on “Guest Post: EmilyMarie Anderson

  1. Ahh, out of the mouths of babes. Thank you, Miss Anderson. You are a breath of fresh air! 🙂
    Hate the sin, not the sinner. Wonderful advice, and it ties in perfectly with what has caused so many rifts in the Church.
    God Bless.

  2. Wonderful and inspiring. Thank you Emily Marie for sharing. Just shows everyone once again what a special priest Fr. Mark is and much he has meant to the lives of people.

  3. “Every person in the Church needs to strive to be the Church of Christ again. The Church herself needs to go to Confession; openly admit what has been wrong, and find out how to fix it”
    EmilyMarie, thank you for your insight and genuine love for the Church and Fr, White. Your faith shines through your words.
    .

  4. Dear EmilyMarie, What a beautiful expression of your experience of Fr. Mark! Your words were quite eloquent, and are very much appreciated. I hope your call to self-examination is not lost on the readers. I pray that our church leaders will be able to see past their initial assessments and find the good in what Fr. Mark has been trying to do.

  5. Oh my goodness ! How I wish I had had your wisdom at when I was that young. What hope you give this 60+ Catholic woman for the future. I have seen Father White during the Consecration at Holy Mass. If only all priests had this much reverence and love for Jesus. I read how Father took his time to share and guide you in your discernment. Then I look how this bishop writes me a political, generic letter back after I was looking for answers. Real shepherds love there sheep. Father White has always treated me so kindly. When speaking to him, his focus was tending to our conversation, even after Mass with so people around. I feel important. I feel like this priest loves his people and loves being a priest. Thank you so much for sharing your strength, courage and wisdom. As much as I would like to tell this bishop off, I tell God my hurt and anger. God is not going to put up with His faithful priests being persecuted.

  6. And there you go people. Another convert to our Faith because of Father Mark. Your letter is more than elegant – it states exactly what Father Mark is all about. Loving the Trinity – bringing every soul he can to the Lord. THIS Is what a Priest and Pastor is all about. Thank you for sharing your search for the Lord and espousing the truth about Father Mark. GOD BLESS YOY and Father Mark. On
    .
    .

  7. This is your “troublesome” Priest … “I ask you, dear reader: How does an American bishop–who ostensibly pretends to care about his faithful people back home–how does he not get off the airplane at Fiumicino and immediately do this: Kneel at the Apostles’ tombs. Walk into the pope’s parlor. Kiss the Ring of the Fisherman. Then ask, “Where is the g.d. McCarrick Report, Your Holiness?! WTF? You are fricking killing us. What in the actual f?” (Or something to that effect.) But these feminized cowards in miters will do no such thing. Instead they will tweet things like, “Oh, mother, bring me my aqua vitae! I just got to meet the Successor of Peter! And he has such twinkly eyes! And amazing jowls. So cute! I just love him!”

    That behavior is not acceptable, ever, from anyone, but especially a Priest. He convicted himself over and over again by failing to remove this type of anti-Catholic diatribe and for failing to adhere to instruction from his superior to refrain from setting such a bad example through continued utilization of this site. His attacks on the Church, his foul language, his sarcastic tone, and his insulting headlines speak to a much different type of man than the one you describe.

    The attacks that are being launched at our Bishop, as well as any supporters of the Bishop, mimic those in the first paragraph above. We are in the middle of a pandemic. This is a very serious time in our country. People cannot even visit our Diocese Facebook page without being attacked by supporters of Fr. White. They are following his horrible example.

    I am going to say this again. The abuse scandal does NOT excuse sinful behavior in response. The abuse scandal does NOT excuse disobedience to the Church or her leaders. The abuse scandal does NOT excuse lying, exaggerating, spreading disinformation and innuendo, or using irony and sarcasm as tools to mislead people. The abuse scandal does NOT release a Priest from his vows of obedience to the Church, the Holy Father or his Bishop. The Constitution of the United States does NOT trump the Ten Commandments, the Catechism or Canon Law. Libertarianism is NOT Catholicism. The abuse scandal does NOT excuse sin in return. Sin is sin. Disobedience is disobedience. Law is law.

    All of this could easily be alleviated if this blog was deleted and replaced with one of Catholic content based on honest truths. It does appear we have entered the sentencing phase of testimony for Fr. White where friends and family paint a picture of a different person than what has been shown through clear evidence.

    I do appreciate the thoughtful commentary from this young lady. It is very difficult when someone you look up to and who has had such a great influence in your life chooses a wrong path. It is painful, hurtful and confusing. Yes, we are called to love one another and forgive one another. Hopefully Fr. White can begin to grasp these concepts again towards his brothers, delete his inciteful, inflammatory rhetoric and begin to seek reconciliation in an honest and forthright manner.

    Reconciliation begins with him.

    Continued prayers for all involved.

    1. Ma’am, I appreciate your encouragement here. But you’re not making much sense.

      You keep bringing up the same post from last November. I apologized for losing my temper there, just a few days later. I acknowledged that I had expressed myself in a manner unworthy of a temperate Christian. We all make mistakes.

      Would you have me delete evidence? Then your “damning” citation wouldn’t exist anymore, for you to hold against me repeatedly. After all, you’re the one bringing it up; our conversation here has long since moved on. But for me to try to eliminate the past–that also seems unworthy of an honest Christian. I lost my temper that day; I apologized. Nothing for me to hide there.

      You also won’t address the underlying issue. I lost my temper about something that is indeed a very serious problem. The Holy See owes us an honest account of the McCarrick cover-up. We have been waiting for that for nearly two years. Cardinal O’Malley acknowledged in November that the absence of such an accounting is causing widespread disillusionment, even cynicicsm, in the Church in America. The answer there is not for me to delete my blog, but for the Holy See to own the truth and make it public.

      You insist that reconciliation begins with me. As I mentioned yesterday, I attempted reconciliation with Bishop Knestout multiple times, over the course of five months. He ignored my proposals.

      You refer to the laws governing the Church; they are all squarely on my side, in this case. I have not disobeyed any of the Church’s laws. It is Bishop Knestout who has taken two unlawful steps, attempting to remove a pastor without following the prescribed process, and then suspending my priestly faculties without even the pretense of a legal process.

      To me there seems a very simple solution to the problem to which you refer, namely people angry about this situation. If the bishop revoked his unlawful suspension of my priestly faculties, we could move on in peace toward the final resolution of the removal case.

  8. Very well spoken Emily. Have you asked Father if a date/time has been arranged for a working session to apologize to the Bishop for his lack of respect and work within the Catholic Church to resolve these issues? Or is father going to continue to banter on his blog into obscurity until his dying day and accomplish nothing? After all, Father is a wise and intelligent man representing Christ in every way. Just asking from the viewpoint of a 70 year old life long Catholic who expected communion of these two men since the beginning of this fiasco. Hope father doesn’t “cop out” and say the Bishop won’t see him (again) or talk to him…after all…father sought you out and brought you into communion with him and the Church.

  9. I appreciate the compliments, Terry. I won’t make Emily get in the middle; she doesn’t deserve to be put there.

    Do you simply not care about the facts? All you have to do is click the tab above marked “Bishop Knestout’s Letters to Parishioners” and read through the transcripts of the meetings and correspondence that happened between November 2019 and March 2020. All of it is clear evidence of me “working within the Catholic Church to resolve these issues.” Did you attend Mass regularly during that period of time, to hear me speak about this problem and my attempts to address it? What makes you think you have the right to try to distort the facts of history, and drag a well-meaning young woman into the middle of your angry distortions?

    I would have expected communion with my bishop, also. And I sought it, repeatedly. Then he attempted to have me locked out of my own house.

    Where can any conversation I would have with him begin, if not with his apologizing to me for doing that? He descended to the level of a petty thug. May God forgive him.

  10. I think the best thing for you to do at this juncture is to seek the counsel of a qualified and competent Spiritual Director. Maybe seek a long, quiet retreat for true clarification and turn off the world for awhile. None of this would have happened if not for your actions. Someday you are going to have to come this basic realization.

    Continue prayers for you Fr. White.

  11. Thank you for sharing, Emily. You have expressed the way many of us see and feel about Father Mark. He is a real priest who is not only doing his job, he inspires us because he really feels God, and he reflects it. We can see And feel God and holy spirit though him. He doesn’t deserve what he is living now.

  12. It appears to me that both of you, Father and the Bishop are at fault. So what to do? Your priestly ministry is the most important thing! Humility is truly a virtue. May all be well.

  13. Thank you for your response father. My name is Terry Zimoski…you married me and my Baptist wife at Saint Joseph Church on June 28, 2011. A mixed marriage in which we are growing together in our own religious beliefs without any pots and pans being thrown at the other. And yes…both of us have faithfully followed your homilies from the pews every Sunday. We also have read “Bishop Knestouts Letter to the Parishioners” and are in agreement with him in his actions. You, as a priest, took a vow of obedience, to put the good of the Church before your own personal good. You were to work for the betterment of the parish community and not your own personal benefit, and by doing so, you were to dedicate yourself to the service of the Church. What we have seen since this “schism” is your refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him (you).” (CCC) Your actions have done grave damage to the parishioners which one can read on the Saint Joseph Parish Facebook website (before it went into the shadows due to viscous attacks by fellow parishioners in violation of it’s policy statement.) Do not these viscous comments written with a poison pen against the Bishop and fellow parishioners make you understand the damage and negative impact your actions have resulted at Saint Joseph and Saint Francis of Assisi parishes? Lets just allow ourselves to be more Christ like in getting the files of all sexual predators opened to the public for all to see and then move on to prevent this from happening again. You are in a position now to do more good for the Mother Church by working with her instead of throwing pot and pans.

    1. Terry, I appreciate your identifying yourself. Of course I remember your wedding very fondly. As you remember, it was the first ceremony I did at St. Joseph, and it happened to be my birthday. I have great love and esteem for both you and Carol.

      But you accuse me of things that I have never done, and you lay at my feet the responsibility for problems that the bishop has caused. I have never refused to submit to the Roman Pontiff or the bishop. When the bishop acted to remove me as pastor, I followed the proper procedure to appeal the decision. There’s no disobedience in that.

      We can all remember well that, before the bishop intervened in the life of our parish, we had a peaceful life. Those who chose to read my blog could do so as they saw fit, and argue with me in that forum. It did not affect the stability of our parish.

      The answer to the problems that both you and I lament does not lie in my hands. For me to say that is not “throwing pots and pans.” The bishop could restore peace to our parish life today, by reversing his unlawful order suspending my priestly faculties. Then we could go back to debating things like the McCarrick Report in the proper forum. And my appeal of the bishop’s decree of removal could make its way through the review process in Rome, like it’s supposed to.

  14. For a long time, I was highly critical of not only Fr. Mark’s approach but also of his intemperate words. I strongly disagree with Fr. Mark’s refusal to drive to Richmond when the bishop asked him to. And I am sorry that this has caused such a rift in those parishes.

    However, I think differently now. I have learned over the last couple of years the extent of the incredible harm that the Catholic Church continues to inflict upon victims of sexual abuse and the collateral damage that causes in people who have not been direct victims. I will say no more about this, except to emphasize that it has changed the way I view the institution of the Catholic Church and consequently Fr. Mark’s approach. I have learned that the damage has a very wide net.

    Prophets are intemperate at times. All prophets are accused of intemperance and disobedience. You might want to check out the gospels for some definitive evidence.

    I don’t know if Fr. Mark is a prophet or not, but what I do know is that his heart is with the victims. His beef against Pope Francis has mixed motivations, but he is right to yell about the fact that too much time has gone by without a report on McCarrick. It also beggars belief that Knestout knew nothing about McCarrick’s sexual abuse when it was pretty much an open secret at least among the clergy of that area. How does a bishop, then, not know of this? Does anyone really believe he didn’t know anything? He worked for the man.

    Sometimes obedience is complicity. Sometimes you have to yell in a way that people will pay attention so that victims are heard and justice is met. And though I haven’t always agreed with the tone of Fr. Mark’s ‘yell’, I’m glad he has the courage to yell even if it yields a tragic consequence for him personally.

    Also, unless Catholics withhold their money from the bishop, whether it be via the annual appeal or by earmarking parish donations that are exempt from the cathedraticum, nothing will change. It has come to the point where the threat of losing money is what gets the most attention from the bishops.

    To those in these comments who accuse Fr. Mark of intemperance like I once did, consider your own words in these comments. I’m not seeing a lot of difference. And the focus on his intemperance has a Pharisaic tone indeed. I’m glad I’m not distracted by that any longer.

    And Fr. Mark, be careful of the temptation of self-aggrandizement. At times your approach comes off as such, and I think this is why you have these detractors. I know you to be a humble man, but it doesn’t come off that way at times.

  15. You are most welcome Hooked on Phonics! Try Greek next time and become the trad you pretend to be 😉

  16. Cynthia – I have read your posts and all of the replies from Fr. Mark. While he has calmly and respectfully replied to you multiple times – even thanking you for your comments – you continue to attack him with a vengeance, assailing his very character and accusing him of lying without evidence. That is not Christian behavior. I respectfully ask that you reread Matthew Chapter 7. EmilyMarie’s testimony in fact recalls Jesus’ own words, “So by their fruits you will know them.” It seems to me that Fr Mark’s pastoral care has yielded much fruit. And now he has made it his mission to seek answers to profoundly important questions, questions I have had long before I found this blog or knew who Fr. Mark is. I was a parishioner in the Archdiocese of Washington and now the Diocese of Richmond and I have a LOT of unanswered questions. Furthermore, as a parent I am deeply grateful for courageous priests and other faithful who are willing to stick their neck out, suffer all sorts of verbal abuse and worse to protect children.

  17. Reply to Athanasius; Terry, Cynthia L. Fore, Speck of Dust, and Fr. White: I agree with what Athanasius said about “intemperance.” I tediously demonstrated in a previous (long) comment that you interpreted Benedict XVI’s statements about corrupt men in the clergy/hierarchy in the worst possible light. Your frame of reference is evidently biased, and that is why you read Benedict’s completely orthodox statements as “erroneous.” In that particular matter, you evidently do not want to earnestly consider all of the logical options (the “counter-views”). Instead, you opt for the most heterodox (and frankly dumbest) meaning of Benedict’s words. If you did this with regard to Benedict XVI, it is possible that you erred in other important quandaries. I attribute this particular fault to the “intemperate movement” of passions that have been rightly angered–as opposed to “malice” or “ill will.”

    As for the remarks of Terry, Cynthia, Speck of Dust, and anyone else who claims that Fr. White is the root “cause” of the problem: Please reflect on the fact that that the person who TRULY serves Christ and His Church is NOT the “cause” of disruption. This backward way of thinking parallels the often-repeated claim that people who expose and reprove worldly, faithless prelates are “sowing division” in the Church. On the contrary, the root “cause” of any rupture among Catholics is the person who goes beyond his own finite responsibilities to impose an Anti-catholic agenda. This is always and everywhere the case! Predator-rapists, careerist-worldly bishops, lazy, cowardly men in general who would rather “look the other way”… THESE are the root “causes” of ongoing disruption! *P.S. As a Millennial, I understand that many “Baby Boomers” are prone to handle these problems by striving to save the ‘honour’ and ‘reputation’ of elders and leaders. But the “Solemn Rite of Degradation of a Bishop” promulgated in 1752 by Pope Benedict XVI demonstrates that there is something more to “holy ecclesiastical obedience” that flies in the face of “blind obedience” to wicked men: https://bit.ly/2WLcsbx

  18. Addendum to previous:
    THE ROMAN CATHOLIC RITE OF DEGRADATION (English Translation, Pope Benedict XIV)

    If the degradandus be an archbishop, the degrading prelate removes his pallium, saying:
    “We deprive thee of the rights and privileges of the episcopal dignity, symbolized in this pallium, since thou hast abused them.”

    Then, even if the degradandus be a mere bishop, the degrading prelate removes his mitre, saying:
    “We strip thy head of this miter, emblem of the episcopal dignity, since thou hast befouled it by thy ill government.”

    Then one of the ministers brings the Book of the Gospel to the degradandus, which the degrading prelate takes from his hands, saying;
    “Give us back the Gospel! Since thou hast spurned the grace of God and made thyself unworthy of the office of preaching, we rightly deprive you of this office.”

    Then the degrading prelate removes the ring from the finger of the degradandus, saying:
    “Rightly do we pull off thy ring, the sign of fidelity, since thou hast made bold to rape God’s own bride, the Church.”

    At this time one of the ministers brings the degradandus a crosier, which the degrading prelate takes from his hands, saying;
    “Thy shepherd’s staff we take from thee, that thou shalt be powerless henceforward to exercise that office of correction, which thou hast brought to disarray.”

    Then the ministers take off the gloves of the degradandus, and the degrading prelate lightly scrapes thumbs and hands with a knife blade or a shard of glass, saying:
    “We hereby deprive thee, to the extent of our powers, of the grace of spiritual blessing and of sacramental anointing, that thou shouldst forfeit the office of sanctifying and of blessing, and their effects.”

    With the same knife blade or shard the degrading prelate lightly scrapes the head of the degradandus, saying:
    “We utterly erase and eradicate the consecration, blessing and anointing bestowed upon thee, and we put thee out of the episcopal order, whence thou returnest unclothed.”

    The ministers remove the shoes from the degradandus Thus ends the ceremony.

  19. I have posted Fr. White’s own words over and over again. They are not defensible. Who are you to judge? Maybe you should read Matthew 7 in its entirety instead of the first line and using it inappropriately as a poor argument. Ask the same of Fr. White towards our Bishop. Fr. White’s repeated posts only prove his assertions malicious over and over again. Facts speak for themselves.

    I have no doubt Fr. White is in great pain from being removed; however, he was removed justifiably. He has to come to grips with truth.

    As for the comments about “boomers,” Fr. Mark is your “boomer” to own. Every single one of you would have been excommunicated and removed for your callous public disobedience in the past. You have been shown more patience than any other sad, Protestant movement in history that denies the authority of the Church of Jesus Christ and the See of Peter. Thank your lucky stars you do not live in a time where your infantile, open disobedience would not have been tolerated.

    This movement being promulgated by politicians in the United States based on libertarianism, Protestantism and political idolatry are no match for Jesus Christ and His Church.

    I do pray for those who are under the sway of the Devil against this Church and our Holy Father and those too simple to understand what is happening in this country.

  20. Cynthia, if you turn to Matthew Chapter 7 you will plainly see that I quoted verse 20 not the first line, but in any case, I don’t know you and I cannot judge you nor should I but I am judging your repeated uncharitable words and attacks on this priest. You are judging Fr Mark and anyone who posts here in support of his quest for some answers. Your posts stand out as very hostile and accusatory.
    Have you aimed this level of verbal attack on any of the bishops who are known to have covered up the scandal or priests who raped children? Did you write to Theodore McCarrick and call him to task for disobeying our Lord and His Church in a most vial way, betraying the trust of so many good priests and laypeople? Or, did you just save it all for Fr. Mark, who it seems you find most reprehensible because… um… he asks for transparency in a blog?

  21. Once again, turn those comments around towards Fr. White’s uncharitable, disobedient comments regarding the Bishop. Your one way piety does not work in reality. Trying to insinuate anyone who opposes Fr. White sympathized with child molesters or abusers is an evil trick of the Devil. It is a complete fallacy. A lie.

  22. Cynthia – no insinuation whatsoever – I give everyone here the benefit of the doubt that we all care deeply for the Church and all abhor the abuse of children. I posed those questions as food for thought given the disproportionality of your criticism of Fr. Mark in light of the far graver situation the Church is in. Obedience to the hierarchy is one thing but blind obedience – failing to question and hold accountable – got the Church into this mess. The baptized cannot abdicate their moral responsibility to speak up for the truth.

  23. It is like children who kick a hornet’s nest and then cry because they have bee stings. That is exactly what this is. The fake martyrdom and cries of ill treatment were brought on by one person and one person alone. The goofy act does not work. When confronted, the claws start coming out quickly. He is a grown man, and he knew well enough not to reinstate this blog. He knew better. He made the conscious choice to defy the Bishop. Acting like a rebellious teenager warrants discipline from the grown-ups.

    The Church has already accepted her sins and asked for forgiveness repeatedly. The rest of us are moving forward honestly concentrating on what is happening now, not the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s for political maneuvering. Much has been done since that time. We have to focus on safeguarding people right now, including all who are abused or assaulted in this Church. Victims are not pawns in a sad little political game of chess. They are real people with real struggles. We need to protect all people from abuse, young and old, seminarians and sisters, male and female, across the board. Obsessing on one matter only allows others to take advantage of the myopic focus. It is a source of diversion and division and places others in actual danger. Thank God for those who work so hard on these matters to get it right. Investigations take time. Facts are more important than a made up narrative based on fantasy, opinion, conspiracy theories, lies, innuendo, and gossip.

    The false equivalencies and fallacies regarding the sex abuse scandal are moot. Agreeing with our Bishop on the removal of Fr. White is not equivalent to blind obedience over the abuse scandal. That is a lie. People need to stop trying to create these feeble-minded arguments with no basis in truth.

    These little movements are having major problems all over the country. The same type of disobedience, lies and foul language/behavior can be seen by multiple Priests who are tied to TLM and the farce of “tradition” while falsely claiming a concern for protection of children as justification. This is not just relegated to this instance in this Diocese. It is a deviant movement with nearing demonic levels of anger and hatred that benefit no one and has no basis in Christianity. Even Fr. Chad Ripperger from the FSSP addressed this matter recently, even though he did not go far enough in my opinion. https://www.tumblarhouse.com/blogs/news/problems-in-the-traditionalist-movement

    I am hopeful for the future as the CDF has sent out a questionnaire to Bishops regarding the pastoral care and pros and cons of the TLM. I have no doubt the Bishops will be frank in their answers. Lord knows they definitely have enough anti-Catholic ramblings laced with cursing and name calling, threats, requests for the Holy Father to step aside, insults to the hierarchy, threats to withhold money, orchestrated harassment, political idolatry, false charges, etc. to reflect on. This page is just another in a short line of disobedient movements stemming from the political posturing of actual schismatics who are out of communion with Rome.

    I am new to this Diocese. My dealings with these types of movements are an old hat. The same thuggery and incessant whining plague most Diocese from these groups. Let us make it clear I had no interest in this matter until the followers of Fr. White started harassing people on the Diocese page with hatred and foul language while posting this ridiculous blog as a source.

    Again, the source of all these troubles lead back to one place, and it is not our Bishop. One day Fr. White is going to have to take responsibility for that simple truth.

    I will continue to pray for him to find reconciliation with Bishop Knestout and for all who have suffered to find peace in Jesus Christ. He is the only true peace, and He is not found on this page.

  24. Dear Cynthia,

    First of all, I would like to apologize sincerely for the attack which you felt. It is obvious that this letter that I wrote has struck a negative reaction for you. I would like clarify my statements.

    I did not say at all that Father is perfect. In fact, I did not at all mention the situation with the Bishop. What I did do was make a testimony towards Father’s character.

    Father made mistakes. I see that, you see that, we all see that. My point was that Father never ever had malicious intent. If he had some evil plan to bring anyone at all against the Catholic Church, he would have every opportunity to do so. Yet, here is a mass of people singing both his praises, and simultaneously committing themselves to the Holy Church. He apologized for his mistakes and openly admitted them– a point that I made in my letter, that this is exactly what Catholics are called to do. Father made repeated mistakes, but by the grace of God is forgiven them. You have made mistakes before, yes? I assume you brought them to God, showed your guilt in the daylight through the gift of Confession. That doesn’t make you any less or more of a good person. It makes you a person.

    I once again state that you can hate the Church’s brokenness without hating the Church. God loves you, despite your brokenness. God loves Father, and the Bishop, and the Pope, and the child molesters. You don’t have to love someone’s actions to love them. If you, in all of your human brokenness and shame, claim Father’s actions to be unforgivable, you put yourself higher than God. Since God has put it very clearly that no sin brought to Him will be left, and He is the creator of the universe, the one who is the most pure.

    What I meant by my letter, Cynthia, was to call the Church to Confession. The Pope, and everyone involved in the cover ups, need to admit their mistakes and try again. The Bishop, Father (who seemingly has admitted his mistakes, but I’m sure would do so again if you asked him to), and everyone involved in this mini-scandal. Everybody. You. Me. Everyone who wants to be Catholic, claims to be Catholic, or wants to be Catholic. We are on the same team here, remember? The communion of saints? Brothers and sisters? When I pray the rosary, I pray for you!! I pray for you, for Father, for every Catholic on earth, for every soul in purgatory, I pray with the saints and the angels in heaven, and I pray to the Almighty God, through the Holy Queen, Kecharitomene!! Don’t you? Doesn’t Father? And the Bishop? And the Pope, our Papa, our leader? Do you not ache for your Catholic brothers and sisters to be one? The fact of the matter is that we have Satan to deal with while we are here, and when we are not, you and I will stand face to face with the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. We are pilgrims of this earth, Cynthia! Father is your brother in Christ, so correct his mistakes and help him find his way, with love and respect for someone who is trying his very best.

    We are trying to navigate this together. My sister, I am sorry for the hurt. But we are on the same team. So I reiterate- to anybody and everybody. That the Church needs to go to Confession.

    My best regards,
    -EmilyMarie

  25. Emily Marie,

    First, I felt no attack from you whatsoever. I believe you to be a genuine, personally interested individual who loves God and His Church. Your letter did not strike a negative tone with me. I have no doubt that these series of events have been very painful for you and all who are close to Fr. White. I do pray for you all. Just as you converted with his assistance, there have been countless conversions because of our Pope, our Bishops and other Priests throughout time. I have no doubt there were and are still people who genuinely love Cardinal McCarrick because he led them to God in all sincerity, but are in great pain knowing the harm he did to other individuals. None of these matters render Fr. White without culpability for his actions.

    Fr. White was given a directive from his Bishop and that was to shut down this blog because of the questionable content. He arbitrarily violated that order by opening it back up with the same offensive material he was directed to stop publishing. He did this under the guise of Covid-19 without express permission from the Bishop. He is still publishing the same diatribe and now calling our Bishop a “petty thug” in public. This is a grave scandal that is polluting the minds of the faithful.

    That is direct testimony to his character.

    No one here has said anything Fr. White did was unforgiveable. You said that. Anyone can be forgiven if they repent of their sins. That does not mean he is released from disciplinary action for his behavior. If I behaved in the manner that he had, I would be fired and rightly so. These are simple lessons of life that people need to understand. Bad actions have consequences in this life. He had every opportunity to rectify this situation, but made the wrong decisions and continues to do so by calling our Bishop names and keeping this blog up and running with the same offensive materials.

    You do understand that bad actions receive consequences in this life? Love of Christ and His Church does not render discipline moot or insignificant. Even our Holy Father was reprimanded for a year of his Priestly life to be spent in exile. Excommunication is not a punishment. It is not used as revenge or for malice. It is an opportunity for the wrongdoer to realize their culpability so they can come back home honestly.

    Three Popes have apologized repeatedly for these scandals. They have repeatedly admitted their mistakes and asked for forgiveness. Our Holy Father and many Bishops meet with actual victims once a week. Multiple Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, lay people, religious have all admitted the mistakes. Perhaps you miss the Rosaries prayed by our Bishops. Have you missed everything your Diocese has done regarding the abuse? Have you prayed the Rosary with our Holy Father, our Bishop or the USCCB for the victims of abuse? Did you miss the abuse summit altogether from the Vatican?

    The blind cannot lead the blind.

    Fr. White can come home any time he chooses, just like the Prodigal Son, and he will be welcomed with open arms.

    We have to stop living in the past and live for the future of this Church. Wallowing in sin is a trick of Satan. We have to walk towards Christ in His truths. It is apparent you love Jesus Christ and our faith deeply. I pray you continue to grow and love in Christ through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

    Please know The Bride of Christ is already perfect sister! She does not need to confess anything!

    Sincerely your sister in Christ,

    Cynthia

  26. “The Church has already accepted her sins and asked for forgiveness repeatedly.” wrote Cynthia. Please educate yourself on these matters and you will realize that this process is not complete by a long shot. Until every state’s AG, including Virginia’s, completes it’s own investigation and every diocese involved fully cooperates and acknowledges all that was done wrong, the Church has not accepted her sins. When an AG has to use the court system to get the documents it needs, the Church is not taking full responsibility. Why didn’t the PA dioceses seek forgiveness for the crimes committed in Pennsylvania in the first place? Why did it take civil authorities to investigate and publicize first? These were not new revelations. Plenty of people knew about the accusations. So as you continue to dissect Fr Mark’s every word and question his faithfulness to the Church, a lot of Catholics want the hierarchy to be faithful to the truth.

  27. Catholics are called to be faithful to the truth God and His Church.

  28. Hey Cynthia, I’m sorry you’re so misguided and out of touch with reality. Seems like your writings are infantile. If you’re so against the blog why do you spend so much time writing on it. I chose not to get into with you but clearly you do not see this at it’s face value. Fr. White is being persecuted for speaking the truth. That’s not disobedience but courage. Many men in the Bible have been persecuted and now they’re saints. Evil flourishes when truths are suppressed.

    #boycottthearchdioceseofrichmond

  29. Cynthia L. Fore, are you familiar with the connection between Divine Law, Natural Law, Canon Law, and Genuinely-Good Civil Law?

    You seem to be under the impression that a Catholic Bishop is the supreme measure of all actions in one’s diocese. This is not true. This is not even true for a Pope! (Note to any Non-Catholic who may be reading the comments: this kind of interpretation of episcopal authority is not the traditional, orthodox Catholic position). The men who hold episcopal office–like all other human creatures–are subject to ALL THE ABOVE modes of law. With that being stated, a Bishop has no prerogative to order someone to cease and desist a “conversation” simply on the basis that he does not “like” the particular conversation. In other words: the authority of a Bishop, in the eyes of God, is NOT analogous to that of a Communist dictator.

    If you claim that Fr. White is contravening Divine Law, Natural Law, Canon Law, or some Genuinely-Good Civil Law, please cite how and where this occurs in very precise, specific terms with examples in context. It is not helpful to anybody to offer generic accusations without making an attempt to show that the opinion put forth corresponds to reality.

    *By the way, Cynthia, I have voiced my own criticisms of Fr. White. For instance, I’ve argued (by logically demonstrating from premises) that his interpretation of the pedagogical statements of a certain well-known theologian is quite QUITE a stretch! I claimed that this possibly reflects a bias on his part, as evinced in his willingness to give a free pass to the relativistic nonsense of “Thomas Merton” who, in Fr. White’s eyes, displayed a ‘captivating writing style’ and ‘perhaps taught no doctrine’ [uh huh]. Even so, I wouldn’t say that these particular oversights of Fr. White constitute–to use Cynthia’s own words: “a deviant movement with nearing demonic levels of anger and hatred.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s