If you say to me, Socrates, this time you shall be let off, but upon one condition, that you are not to inquire and speculate in this way any more, and that if you are caught doing so again you shall die— If this was the condition on which you let me go, I should reply: Men of Athens, I honor and love you, but I shall obey God rather than you.
Socrates, to the jury, as quoted in Plato’s Apology
I received a letter from my bishop on Wednesday. Bishop Knestout wrote:
The restoration of your priestly ministry will be dependent on your taking down your blog, as you were directed by decree, specifically:
Reverend Mark White is to cease from this moment in disseminating his opinions by means of any social media: in print, by audio, or video, or any digital means… Any previous posts are to be removed from all social media and the account is to be closed.
In the exercise of his pastoral office, Father White is to refrain from all assertions against, or judgments about, the hierarchy of the Church.
Every pope for the last sixty years has endorsed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of the Declaration states:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media.
I thank Bishop Knestout for putting the matter so clearly.