Bishop prohibits priest from broadcasting opinion after criticizing sex abuse scandals

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- A local Catholic priest broke his silence on the way the church handled one of the biggest controversies.

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has released the names of more than two dozen priests that are facing 'credible and substantiated' allegations of sexual abuse against a minor in February of 2019.

The priest at St. Joseph's Catholic Church is refusing to stay silent despite the threat of losing his priesthood.

Father Mark White's blog lead Bishop Barry Knestout to order White's silence.

"He said that he thought what I had written was disrespectful and not appropriate so he ordered me to remove everything that I had on the internet and to be silent on the internet from now on under pain of being removed as the pastor if I do not obey," said White.

White voiced his frustration and disgust about how the church responded to the many sexual abuse scandals, particularly the cases involving former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick.

“I was hoping that as a church we could live in our truth and believe in our Lord Jesus Christ that he came to allow us to live in our truth and find our way by doing that and of course what we are all about it believing in something and we need to be a church that people can believe in," said White.

Parishioners of St. Joseph's in Martinsville said they stand behind White.

“He was very concerned and he loves the church, concerned that things were not being brought forth," said Erma Harrison.

“It did help a lot of the parishioners understand what was happening," said Pat Pearlman.

White said the bishop will allow hi...

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