Letter received from Bishop Frank Dewane and comments

On January 12, our friends and part-time parishioners from Michigan, Hank and MaryJo Maher, shared with us a letter they received from Bishop Frank Dewane. It is the second response that the Maher’s have received from Bishop Dewane, having also received a letter from the Bishop on May 1, 2018. Both letters are strikingly similar, virtually identical in part. The biggest difference seems to be the increase of slanderous rhetoric in the most recent January 7 letter. We share that letter with you, and will follow with some comments.

Dewane to Maher 1-7-19 redact

With all due respect, Bishop Dewane is not always truthful, and nothing about the way he has handled Fr. Christopher’s persecution was “transparent,” in spite of his January 2017 pledge to handle the case in a “transparent manner.” Suggesting that Fr. Christopher’s case was more “complicated” than the Maher’s might understand, is surely meant to give Bishop Dewane an excuse for treating Fr. Christopher so badly. It is clear from the tone of his letter, that Bishop Dewane has already concluded that Fr. Senk is guilty of the “most serious violations of priestly obligations,” even before Rome has rendered a decision. His assertion in his first letter to the Maher’s that Fr. Christopher “was afforded the presumption of innocence” is laughable. From the very start of this lengthy saga, with only the State investigation and the lies of a greedy Baltimore family in hand, Bishop Dewane found Fr. Christopher guilty. We remind our readers that Bishop Dewane has never had a conversation with Fr. Christopher with the intention of discovering the truth. Never!

Bishop Dewane is categorically not telling the truth when he emphatically states that “there was evidence of serious violations of priestly conduct.” Had that evidence been present the State would have acted on their two-year investigation. Further, for Bishop Dewane to suggest that he possesses the truth because the “Diocese examined a much more extensive record of the civil investigation” than anyone else has is deliberately misleading. There is only one civil investigation, the one purchased by Parishioners For Justice over two years ago, and that investigation possessed little that was truthful, something the Diocese could have discovered had they actually engaged in a thorough “inquiry of its own.” Indeed, less than a handful of parishioners were interviewed for the Diocesan investigation, and the Diocesan-hired, former FBI person handling the brief Diocesan investigation deliberately asked leading questions meant to entrap the parishioners into saying something bad about Fr. Christopher.

Bishop Dewane states in his letter to the Maher’s: “Because some parishioners and Fr. Senk accused me of a bias and out of sense of fairness, I requested the Apostolic See to determine the consequences of Fr. Senk’s misconduct.” It is impossible to discern any fairness in what Bishop Dewane has done. He has never, ever, been fair to Fr. Christopher. Notice that in Dewane’s statement it is not a matter of Rome deciding whether Fr. Christopher is guilty, it is a matter of Rome determining the “consequences of Fr. Senk’s misconduct.” From day one, Bishop Dewane has desired to strip Fr. Christopher of his priesthood, in spite of never possessing anything that resembled “facts,” and he is hoping, with lies and innuendo, that he has convinced Rome to do the dirty work that he was too afraid to do. We ask once again what we have asked dozens of times, what kind of Christ-like shepherd behaves in this way?

Bishop Dewane’s implication that if the Mahers had “all the facts to make an objective judgment” they would think differently and be less loyal to Fr. Christopher is outrageous. Wouldn’t a Bishop who really wanted what is best for his priest be less eager to condemn and more eager to hope that Rome finds him not guilty of anything? If Bishop Dewane was in possession of anything that resembled facts he would have never begun this misguided process which has effectively ruined a good priest’s life and all but destroyed a thriving parish. Examination of the “facts” was never Bishop Dewane’s concern in Fr. Christopher’s case. Even the civil investigation, which began in 2014 at the urging of total strangers who were orchestrating the entire secret investigation, was built on lies and incorrect assumptions.

Most readers are aware that Bishop Dewane has never shared with Fr. Christopher and his lawyer the case that was sent to Rome, in spite of Rome asking him to do so. The Bishop’s refusal to follow Rome’s instructions, and Rome’s apparent decision not to force him to do so, causes us to wonder whether there can ever be justice for Fr. Christopher and St. Isabel parish. Bishop Dewane is not in possession of the “facts” he falsely claims are “needed to make an objective judgment in this case,” and his stating that he does is a fabrication.

Parishioners For Justice insist that Bishop Dewane refrain from making slanderous comments about Fr. Christopher Senk. This painfully long nightmare for Fr. Christopher and St. Isabel’s parish is the Bishop’s doing. We continue to pray, as we have since 2016, that Bishop Dewane will come to his senses and admit the wrong he has done to priest and parish. We pray that he restore Fr. Christopher to his position of pastor, so that we may begin the work of rebuilding the parish of St. Isabel which Bishop Dewane has so insensitively destroyed.

4 thoughts on “Letter received from Bishop Frank Dewane and comments”

  1. The major question in my mind is WHY Fr.Senk and his defense had not received the accusations by Bishop Dewane that the Vatacin Directed him to do?
    Bishop Dewane has personally attacked Fr.Christopher Senk and the Parishioners! The conduct of Bishop Dewane is the only misconduct attributable in this case! He has not followed protocol that the Vatican set , so that accusations could be defended. He writes as if he is on a throne looking down on the world with his own illusions of grandiose. This is the attitude of Bishops and other leaders that disregard the Laws and findings of the United States of America justice system.as Bishop Dewane so blaitantly has done. This is why the Catholic Church is now being investigated and sued to obtain secrets hidden for years and truths manipulated as in this case . This persecution is unacceptable and anything but CHRIST LIKE.
    God Bless Fr. Christopher Senk and give him strength .


  2. I hope that by sharing the letters wth the parishioners – they will continue to pray and support Fr Senk and be voices for him to the Bishop and to Rome and to others who need to know this is what seems to me an ‘abuse of power’ toward Fr. Senk…
    If Rome has directed the Bishop to let Father know of what is being done and the Bishop hasn’t done it………
    Tell me please : who is in charge of the Bishop? Does he have that much power to do what
    ever he wants??? I hope not but it seems that way doesn’t it?
    I think that the Bishop seems not to like Fr Senk since he hasn’t even informed him or kept him abreast of what work or follow up is taking place in Rome or in Venice!
    Who received the case from Bishop when he sent it to Rome??
    Is it true that only the Pope can take away a priests rights to priesthood and ministry???

    I know it is not right nor just that Fr Senk has been treated and is still after two plus years being treated this way by our Church. Father Senk needs a real shepherd – just as Jesus was!
    The God I know would not want it handled this way! Peace and patience that words from Rome will vindicate Father so he can get back to his ministry to the good people who miss him. I pray to the saints to speed this up for Fathers sake!


  3. I have been following the case of Fr Christopher for almost it’s entire duration thus far. For me, I cannot see anything that the pastor of St Isabel’s has done to justify the bishops action. Must be a personal vendetta on the part of the bishop. However, were it me, I would certainly question the legal basis for continuing to NOT have the Pastor in residence at the parish house and providing his priestly services. In this case so far the Bishop is acting as Accuser, Judge and Jury. The Question might be: ‘What would Jesus Do’? Certainly not what has been done, in my judgement. Since I still see Fr Christopher Senk’s name as Pastor is still on the bulletin why is he not serving his parish.


    1. This is what we all would like and would be Christ Like.
      Unfortunately I think Bishop Dewane is working on the assumption “Out of sight , Out of mind”. That will not work with the dedicated “Family “
      Of St. Isabel’s who will stand with Our Beloved Pastor and Friend, Father Christopher Senk.
      The Catholic Church is facing disastrous conquences unless order is put in the disorder and Bishops like Dewane and others that coverup for each other and see themselves as Dictators are held responsible by the United States Laws and not the foreign laws of the Vatican that DO NOTH ING! “In Rome Do As The Romans Do” We are NOT in Rome!


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