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Parishioners stand behind Sanibel priest

November 23, 2016
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

To the editor:

On behalf of the parishioners of St. Isabel Catholic Church in Sanibel, we want to register our continuing absolute confidence and support for our pastor, Father Christopher Senk, who was recently placed on administrative leave by Bishop Frank Dewane of the Diocese of Venice, Florida. Father Senk alleged to have financially exploited an elderly and vulnerable parishioner.

Father Senk is the beloved and treasured pastor of St. Isabel whose strong personal ethics would never permit such action. It is heartening that both the attar and local authorities found insufficient evidence to prosecute and have closed this case. If, prior to launching their investigation, they would have closed this case. If, prior to launching their investigation, they would have interviewed St. Isabel parishioners, many of whom spent considerable time with both Father Senk and the person in question, they would have learned firsthand that such alleged conduct would be impossible for Father Senk, hence dramatically simplifying and abbreviating their lengthy investigation.

It is therefore both disappointing and disturbing that Bishop Frank Dewane decided to press forward with a church investigation, place Father Senk on administrative leave, and issue a press release on the matter. To publish this press release was unfair, unjust and highly prejudicial. It exposes Father Senk to public scrutiny and condemnation when the Bishop will not allow him to publicly defend himself.

We will take whatever action is necessary to defend Father Senk and look forward to the day when he is returned to us as pastor of St. Isabel Church.

Jim Salzman, president St. Isabel Men's Society

Francine Dale, president St. Isabel Women's Guild



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