'I just completely don't understand'; Father Mark White calls suspension unjust

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 6:24 PM EDT
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No longer allowed to enter his church and publicly practice his faith, Father Mark White is still processing his suspension from his two churches in Martinsville and Rocky Mount.

"I just completely don't understand, and I don't want to speculate but it's tough being on the receiving end of this," said White.

Bishop Barry Knestout of the Diocese of Richmond suspended Mark for pastoral duties Wednesday, saying in a statement, "I have become more and more concerned for the ecclesiastical communion of the faithful at the parishes of St. Joseph in Martinsville and Saint Francis of Assisi in Rocky Mount."

However, he never stated a specific reason for White being suspended.

"I don't agree with the Bishop having done this, I certainly have not done anything to deserve it," said White.

In March, the bishop sent a letter to White's parishioners, writing, "In my judgment Mark White has worked against the unity of the Church, promoted disrespect for the Holy Father and Church hierarchy."'

That was in reference to three blogs posted by White regarding the Catholic Church's response to a 2018 child sex abuse scandal. In April, White was reassigned to a prison ministry.

White sent that appeal to the Vatican, allowing him to stay in place. However, a new priest will now take his role while the suspension is appealed.

The bishop also stated in the March letter the church has responded to the child abuse crisis and did not deserve the criticism from White.

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