Father Christopher Senk committed no crime. The county and state authorities said there was no crime committed by Father Senk. The crimes committed were the lies told by the Gallager/Knott family, the defamation of Father Christopher after over forty years of flawless dedication to his vocation in the Catholic church, and Bishop Dewane using a dismissed case to publicly scandalize, unjustly accuse, and crucify one of his own priests.
The crime that has been committed is that an innocent man has already been punished for a year, and continues to be punished for not only something that he did not do, but he is being punished when the powers that be have not even examined the evidence that proves Father Christopher’s innocence.
It is not “a little white lie” when an untruth is told in a case that jeopardizes a man’s life, it is a crime. The evidence in the county and state’s case shows that Marion McIntyre’s niece and family repeatedly lied (re: POA, an alleged 2008 diagnosis of dementia) putting Father Christopher’s future at risk. They committed a crime.
There is evidence in the county and state’s case that Mrs. McIntyre’s family was contacting Bishop Dewane about Fr. Christopher as long ago as 2014, but Bishop Dewane ignored Canon Law that obligated him to discuss the situation, and, if necessary, investigate the matter AT THAT TIME. Bishop Dewane broke Canon Law.
To repeat a very important fact, it has been determined by the county and state, after an investigation, that FR. CHRISTOPHER DID NOT BREAK ANY LAWS AND DID NOT COMMIT ANY CRIME. Fr. Christopher did not do what he has been accused of and yet Bishop Dewane has considered him guilty, punishing him as if he has been convicted, since October 28, 2016, the day Fr. Christopher first heard of the investigation and was put on administrative leave on October 28, 2016 – one year ago!
In the last twelve months, Fr. Christopher has suffered every single day. He has been torn from his friends and the place he has called home for the past fourteen years. Fr. Christopher has been humiliated in the press and on broadcast news. He has been made to remain silent as his reputation has been smeared. He has been forced to miss the funerals of beloved parishioners for whom he was requested to celebrate Mass. But most importantly, Fr. Christopher has been denied to say public Mass; denied the right to be the compassionate priest that he has always been; denied the life he has been living with unquestionable dignity for over forty years. Fr. Christopher’s life has been totally and unjustifiably disrupted for an entire year. THAT is a crime!
In the past year, Bishop Dewane donned his miter and attended functions smiling and parading for all to see, posing for pictures to be plastered on the pages throughout all 26 issues of the Florida Catholic. He has attended meetings about ethics posing as a person who has some. Bishop Dewane’s life has not been disrupted at all this past year, certainly not with concerns regarding the welfare of Fr. Christopher or the parishioners of St. Isabel.
It is also hard to believe that the lives of Marion McIntyre’s family have been disrupted this past year. They are no doubt still huddling, planning the financial outcome of her imminent demise.
Fr. Christopher did not commit any crime, he has been officially cleared by the county and state, and yet he has apparently started his sentence that Bishop Dewane predetermined, without evidence, he should serve.
There is proof that Bishop Dewane ignored Canon Law, among many other transgressions, and yet he hasn’t even gotten a slap on the wrist. When will Bishop Dewane be held accountable for unethical tactics, his breech of trust, and lack of due diligence and transparency? When will his bullying actions that defy decency be judged? When will the family making false accusations with only lies to support them have to answer for their actions?
Fr. Christopher is innocent and yet he has unjustly been made to suffer for 52 weeks with no justice promised in the near future. This innocent man is suffering while those truly guilty of lies, deception, and collusion live lives unaffected and undisturbed. The injustice in this case is mind boggling.
After 365 days and nights, one long and painful year, for Fr. Christopher and for all of us who have suffered with him in so many ways as parishioners of St. Isabel, we hope and pray that the Congregation for Clergy will recognize the outrageousness of the case against Fr. Christopher and the dishonorable way it has been handled by Bishop Dewane. We continue to pray for a just outcome that will end the suffering for both Fr. Christopher and our parish; an outcome in which Fr. Christopher will be exonerated and return to heal our parish as only he would be able to do.