From the personal blog of Fr. Mike White:
Last month I wrote my bishop, Barry Knestout.
I asked if we could work together with a mediator, or with a brother priest, or with anyone he might think helpful, in order to try to resolve our dispute over this blog.
I made the same request a year ago, and never got a direct response.
This time, I got this response:
Bishop Knestout has written to the Vatican, demanding that I be removed from the priesthood completely, without any further dialogue or recourse.
The bishop has submitted documents to the Vatican, to support his demand. I have never seen the documents. I have no idea what they contain. The bishop and I have never discussed this.
I have never done anything to justify the bishop’s actions, nothing that Church law forbids, or the moral law, or civil law.
All I want is to continue serving God as a priest. I have asked the bishop for an assignment. He refuses to give me one.
Would you be kind enough to write to Beniamino Cardinal Stella of the Congregation for Clergy at the Vatican? Could you alert him to the fact that Bishop Knestout has acted in a clearly unfair manner?
And could you share this with others and ask them to do so?
Write to Cardinal Stella in care of the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C.
His Eminence Beniamino Card. Stella
Prefect, Congregation for the Clergy
c/o The Apostolic Nunciature
3339 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Who Is Barry Knestout (From Church Militant)?
Bishop Barry Knestout grew up in Washington, D.C.
Before being installed as bishop of Richmond in 2018, Knestout served as disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s personal secretary.Cardinal Donald Wuerl ordained Knestout a bishop in 2008 in Washington, D.C., where he served Wuerl as an auxiliary bishop.
As bishop of Richmond, Knestout doubled down in January when faithful Catholics opposed him for allowing St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, Virginia to be used for the Protestant “consecration” of Susan Bunton Haynes to the Episcopal bishopric.
“Use of space in a Catholic parish for the Episcopal Church to conduct their own religious ceremony is well within the accepted ecumenical teachings and norms of the Church,” he said in a statement at the time. “I appreciate that you are concerned that the sacred space of the Catholic Church be safeguarded, which it is.”
When enough backlash forced Haynes to withdraw (in a letter) from using St. Bede, Knestout expressed remorse.
“It is with great sadness that I have received a letter from bishop-elect Susan Haynes stating that, due to the controversy of the proposed use of St. Bede Catholic Church for her consecration … she has decided to find another location for the ceremony to take place,” he said in another statement.
Knestout concluded the statement by saying, “As I assure bishop-elect Haynes of my prayers … I ask our Catholic faithful to pray for them, too, and to pray that the fruits of the Holy Spirit, along with humility, kindness, gentleness and joy be expressed and strengthened in all our faith communities.”