Priest Critical of Church’s Handling of Sex Abuse Suspended from Ministry

Once again, Catholic officials show they care more about their reputations than the protection of the vulnerable with their decision to suspend a priest who was publicly critical of the church’s effort to curb cases of sexual abuse. We once again applaud the bravery of this priest and hope that his mistreatment by diocesan leaders will resonate with parishioners across the country.

By choosing to suspend Fr. Mark White from ministry, says to us that Bishop Barry Knestout is incapable of handling criticism in a mature and reasonable way. The simple fact is that Fr. Mark White’s blog is a far lesser threat to the Catholic Church than their continued failures to protect children from sexual abuse. Bishop Knestout’s inability to dialogue with Fr. White and learn from this criticism is emblematic of the arrogance of church officials and shows how out of touch they are when it comes to this issue.

We stand with and applaud Fr. White for his fine example. We believe that it is people like him, who speak truth to power and challenge the status quo, that are going to change the Catholic Church and make it safer for children and the vulnerable. Surely Bishop Knestout’s actions in this case will go down in infamy and will be looked upon with disdain both now and in the future. We hope that Fr. White will continue his crusade of truth in whatever positions come next.

CONTACT: Becky Ianni, SNAP Virginia Leader ([email protected], 703-801-6044), Dottie Klammer, SNAP Richmond ([email protected], 804-347-9974), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant