[dear reader, I present to you my appeal to the bishop, as I promised yesterday]
June 22, 2020
Thank you for your prompt, same-day response to my letter of Friday, June 19.
I appreciate your fraternal courtesy in asking me to resign as pastor of Rocky Mount-Martinsville. You write that you think my doing so would be for the good of the parishes.
In assessing what is for the good of the parishes, I ask you to consider the proofs that you already possess. The parishes need a bi-lingual pastor who can make a happy and healthy life, living part-time each week in two different towns separated by a 30-mile drive. Not many priests would volunteer for such duty; for me it is a great joy.
The Mass-attendance, religious-education, and financial records of the parishes during my two tenures as pastor attest to their stability and growth under my care, as do the sacramental records. Your office, and the offices of Archbishops Lori and Pierre, have received many testimonies to my fitness as pastor over the course of the past several months.
A large body of evidence, therefore, demonstrates that it would not be for the good of the parishes for me to resign as pastor. I decline to do so. I ask again that you restore my priestly faculties, so that I may continue my work in Rocky Mount and Martinsville.
On the matter of my publishing a weblog, I thank you again for providing me in writing the words of the vetitum that you read aloud to me some months ago. As I noted in my letter on Friday, I first received this admonition in writing just last week, in your letter dated June 17, 2020.
I mean no offense when I point out to you that everyone has the right to communicate with his or her fellow human beings. You have written in the vetitum:
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.
You do not have the authority to compel my silence in this manner. Your prohibition violates canon 212.3, as well as Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I petition you to revoke this vetitum.
Yours in Christ, Mark