Thanks to the priest

who spoke for victims

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

On behalf of the survivors who have spoken out on the clergy abuse that occurred in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, I would like to thank the Rev. Mark White, a parish priest in Martinsville, for his courage and public support. He has been the only priest in the entire diocese to publicly acknowledge with his online blog our struggles and openly question the handling of this crisis by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. Reading his online blog over the past few months has given me hope as I watched him challenge the bishop, the Most Rev. Barry C. Knestout, over his lack of transparency in reporting the facts behind the published list of credibly accused priest as well as the renaming of Bishop Sullivan High School.

I am saddened that the diocese has forced him to remove his blog and threatened him with further discipline. But I am not surprised, based on my 20 years of meeting with bishops and diocesan officials seeking honesty and transparency on the sexual abuse that occurred at both my Catholic grade school and high school seminary on myself and numerous friends and classmates.

I thank Fr. Mark for his courage in putting truth and justice above his priesthood. I wish more priests had his courage to speak out.

Thomas Lee.

Virginia Beach.

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