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Frank Pavone cancels Mass but vows legal action after Vatican dismisses him from priesthood

Then-Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, speaks in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington Oct. 1, 2019. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn) See story to come.

Washington D.C., Dec 18, 2022 / 11:29 am (CNA).

The national director of Priests for Life, Frank Pavone, canceled a scheduled live-streamed Mass today, one day after CNA published a report that he was continuing to celebrate Mass after the Vatican had removed him from the priesthood.

In a defiant statement addressed to Church leaders, and posted on his organization’s website Saturday, Pavone, vowed to continue his ministry despite his dismissal from the clerical state.

“It’s about the millions of supporters of the movement I help to lead and will continue to lead,” he wrote, adding that he would respond by taking “all appropriate canonical and civil action as well as public communications to the Faithful.”

In a Dec. 13 letter to U.S. bishops obtained by CNA and confirmed by multiple sources as authentic, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, wrote that the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy issued the decision on Nov. 9, adding that there was “no possibility of appeal.”

The letter indicated that Pavone has been dismissed from the clerical state for “blasphemous communications on social media” and “persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop,” CNA reported yesterday. The communication from Pierre does not specify the actions that led to Pavone’s dismissal or name the bishop he disobeyed.

“Father Pavone was given ample opportunity to defend himself in the canonical proceedings, and he was also given multiple opportunities to submit himself to the authority of his diocesan bishop,” explains a separate statement attached to Pierre’s letter. “It was determined that Father Pavone had no reasonable justification for his actions.”

The statement refers to Pavone as “Mr. Pavone” and calls him “a lay person,” underscoring the dramatic and immediate nature of the Vatican’s action.

Pavone remains defiant, calls himself ‘Father’

Pavone has continued to celebrate Mass since the Vatican’s communication, including a Mass, streamed online Saturday. The Priests for Life website states that Pavone “is a Catholic priest in good standing, and exercises his ministry in full communion with the Catholic Church.”

In an email to CNA on Saturday, Pavone said that he was not aware of the Vatican’s action.

“How did CNA learn about this before I did?” he asked. In a subsequent email, he added that CNA’s inquiry was “the very first communication that came to me about this.”

Saturday evening he posted a defiant statement to his followers, in which he addressed statements to Pope Francis, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States and the U.S. bishops.

The statement was signed, “Fr. Frank Pavone,” in spite of the Vatican’s announcement that he is no longer a priest.

Addressing Pope Francis, Pavone wrote, “Your Holiness, I want to continue serving as a faithful priest and fulltime pro-life leader. You can allow me to do so under a supportive bishop, and many of the faithful understand that this is the most reasonable solution.”

To Archbishop Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio, he wrote, “Your Excellency, your communication to the bishops dated December 13th contains serious errors and omissions. But that has marked this process all along, so there is no surprise there, and those errors will be addressed separately and thoroughly.

“But in particular, when you say there is ‘no possibility of appeal’ to this decision, you speak only in a very narrow legal sense, and completely ignore the appeal that is being made to the People of God themselves. This is not just about me; it’s about the millions of supporters of the movement I help to lead and will continue to lead, and of the work that the People of God have already evaluated and judged worthy of their ongoing support,” Pavone wrote.

He then vowed to take legal action and make a direct appeal to his supporters.

“To those of you who have been part of this travesty publicly or in the shadows, we will be taking all appropriate canonical and civil action as well as public communications to the Faithful,” Pavone wrote.

It is not clear in what diocese Pavone, 63, is incardinated as a priest. On the Priests for Life website, it says he received permission from the Vatican in 2019 to transfer from the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, where he was incardinated in 2005, to another, unnamed diocese.

Pavone hosted the show “Defending Life” on EWTN for many years until the Bishop of Amarillo, Texas, revoked Pavone’s permission to appear on the Network. EWTN is the parent organization of CNA.

A history of clashes with hierarchy

Originally based in Staten Island, New York, Priests for Life is now headquartered in Titusville, Florida, within the Diocese of Orlando. That diocese, also, did not respond to CNA’s request for comment Saturday.

Pavone has served as the pro-life organization’s national director since 1993.

In that role he has a long history of conflicts with bishops, beginning more than 20 years ago with the late Cardinal Edward Egan of the Archdiocese of New York. Egan succeeded the late Cardinal John J. O’Connor, who ordained Pavone in 1988 and encouraged his pro-life work.

In his email, Pavone directed CNA to a document posted on his personal website titled “Summary of How Fr. Frank and Priests for Life Have Been Treated by Some in the Hierarchy.”

“We all expect that the pro-abortion groups, like Planned Parenthood, will target, harass and try to intimidate us. And they do try,” he wrote.

“But when such treatment comes from bishops and other Church authorities — which it increasingly does — it’s particularly deplorable,” he added. “Instead of supporting and encouraging the pro-life work of the Church, some of these men try to obstruct and hinder it, and abuse their authority to try to intimidate priests and laity who make ending abortion the top priority of our lives.”

Pavone has been at odds with Bishop Patrick J. Zurek in Amarillo since the latter became bishop there in 2008. In 2011, Zurek publicly suspended Pavone, though Pavone later had the suspension overruled by the Vatican. The Amarillo Diocese did not respond to CNA’s requests for comment prior to publication.

Pavone’s political activism played a role in his problems in Amarillo.

An outspoken supporter of former president Donald Trump, Pavone served on official Trump campaign outreach positions in 2016, and was originally a co-chair of Trump’s 2020 pro-life coalition, as well as an advisory board member of Catholics for Trump. Canon law forbids clerics from having an active role in political parties unless they receive the permission of their bishop.

In November 2016, Pavone filmed a video at the Priests for Life headquarters, urging support for Trump. The video was staged with the body of an aborted baby laid before Pavone on what appeared to be an altar.

Zurek said soon after the video’s release that he would open an investigation into the incident, calling it “against the dignity of human life” and “a desecration of the altar,” adding that “the action and presentation of Father Pavone in this video is not consistent with the beliefs of the Catholic Church.”

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  1. Frank Pavone’s celebrity status among the anti-abortion movement and the MAGA camp must have entered into his mind and thought he’s superior than or indispensable to his bishop so he has been disobeying and defying persistently “the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop.” Pavone’s defrocking is not because of his advocacy or politics but due to his persistent disobedience. At ordination, priests vow obedience to their bishop or superior. Multitudes of priests, almost all non-celebrities, routinely get defrocked for disobedience. Pavone has through the years broken his vow of obedience.

    • You seem to have great confidence in your judgment of Father Pavone. I’d like to say that I envy your prescience but I don’t.

      • Those are words of the Vatican communique (not mine!) announcing the reason for Pavone’s defrocking first reported and quoted by the EWTN-owned Catholic News Agency. Here again: “persistent disobedience to the lawful instructions of his bishop.”

        • What “communique” from God did you receive that enables you to know what “enters” into a man’s mind that gives you any right to bypass the Eighth Commandment’s proscription against presumption?

        • Repeating the nonsense and lies doesn’t make it any more credible – whether you’re credited with saying it or the Pope, it deserves no traction whatsoever. Sorry but you and Bergoglio have politicized the faith certainly no less than what FATHER Pavone is accused of doing. Just make sure you keep pulling the lever for the pro-abort politicians whom you support.

        • And the Jesuit Priest, Fr. Rupnik, who committed serial sexual abuse of women religious for over 20 years and abuse of the Sacrament of Confession gets his excommunication lifted quickly by some unknown very high authority in the church and is still a priest today! Where is the justice? Where is the protection of vulnerable religious? Rupnik should have been gone in the blink of eye. But Pavone is the evil one in the eyes of the Rome. Francis does not take sexual sins seriously. He has said they are minor sins. He does not take abuse seriously. Only when the heat is on, does he act.

    • If only he’d been a Democrat supporting abortion, he’d be told he was a Catholic in good standing and to keep receiving communion. No mixed messages on disobeying Divine, Natural, or Church law here. Nothing to see here, keep grazing. Please spare me the sanctimonious ‘he disobeyed his bishop.’ Kids were getting buggered and no one laicized the devils until the laity fought back. Pavone fought to end abortion and he’s been betrayed by the Church’s leadership repeatedly. Who takes seriously anything these jokers say or do anymore? Just look at the bizarre appointments to the Pontifical Academy for Life and the new dicastery. Look at the upcoming Synod. Biden and Pelosi freely go to Communion in D.C. Judge a tree by its fruit.

      • Speaking as an American, I think that this action will cause some Catholics to become more truculent towards Holy Mother Church. We see Pres. Biden and Speaker of the House Pelosi, as well as other prominent Catholics, continue to be welcome to receive Holy Communion, and of course, we see plenty of our Catholic friends and neighbors use a “salty” vocabulary in their daily lives unrebuked by their parishes–but we see a warrior like Pavone defrocked and accused of blasphemy. I wish that Rome needs to come to terms with the facts about abortion in the 2019, 629,898 babies died by abortion, and 61% of Americans approve of legal abortions in all settings. Pavone has been launching a blitz rather than setting off a few firecrackers. I hope that Rome can find a better way to deal with him, because I think many Americans will object by abandoning Holy Mother Church.

    • Deacon Baker:

      The fundamental problem is that the concentration of all power in a bishop gives any diocesan bishop the opportunity to play the tyrant.

      As Adam DeVille has written here, and in his book on the subject (if I recall the title correctly “Everything Hidden Shall Be Revealed”), there is virtually no check against and little or no recourse in the eventual abuse of power in the case by a tyrant bishop.

      It seems to me that Justice is the operative first principle, and not obedience: obedience is duty we owe to justice.

      Thus, in the absence of justice, the appeals to “obedience to the bishop” loses its merit, because “obedience” cannot be grounded in itself.

      While allowing that Fr. Pavone may have erred, given the injustices known to have been committed by some US Bishops, including Cardinals Law and Egan, who (according to Priests for Life) connived against Fr. Pavone a few short years after the death of Cardinal O’ Connor, and the injustices committed against Fr. Pavone by the final Bishop involved, His Excellency Zurek of Amarillo, the actions by the same bishop, and the current Congregation for Clergy (which since the ascent of the Pontiff Francis includes among its leadership the notoriously unjust Bishop Jose Carballo, former head of the Franciscan OFMs), the rebuttable presumption is against the Congregation for the Clergy and Bishop Zurek.

      The appeal to be obedient to tyrant Bishops rings hollow.

    • I totally agree with your comments Deacon Baker. Sadly there are so many Priests and even Bishops and Cardinals in open defiance against the Catholic Church – Pope Francis duly elected is chosen by the Holy Spirit to lead our Church on earth and I think it is sad that there are those who oppose him within our church take to social media to slander and attack him. Heis a good and holy man who preaches what Jesus preached. Pope Francis is pro life in spite of their false messaging to the contrary but he is correct the Church is not political it is God’s church preaching God’s message of love and forgiveness. Any Priests and others who oppose him are like the Pharisees who like their status and now with Utube and social media they think they are stars and pander to those who are in my view not true Catholics. To be Catholic is to be in accord with our Pope not to attack and slander him at every turn. I am Pro Life and always have been and will always be so but to support someone who is so anti life in actions and reality as Trump was and is is a distortion of what to be pro life means. Father Pavone by his open declaration of support for Trump shows his pro life statements are not genuine as to be pro life is certainly for support of the child in the womb and an end to the crime and sine of abortion but it is also to support the poor, the disenfranchised, the refugee, the immigrant. Trump and his party openly attack all these groups and by association so does Father Pavone. Jesus promised that Peter (now Francis) is the rock on which he built His church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it and I follow the Holy Spirit and not Trump or Pavone.

        • Some Catholics seem to think that God completely takes over the process of electing a Pope. He does not. If this were the case, how do these Catholics explain history’s scoundrel Popes who committed all sorts of unspeakable evil acts.

      • I’m all for obedience & civil language, truly, but minus Donald Trump we’d still have Roe & our state would still have clinics open, freely slaughtering infants in the womb-largely children of colour- with no legal way to stop them. Every single clinic that committed feticides in our state has been closed down thanks to Pres. Trump. Do you know how many innocent lives that represents?
        I’ve been voting for useless “prolife” candidates for decades & they accomplished nothing beyond showing up at banquets, making empty promises, & begging for votes every few years. Being “Prolife” without accomplishing anything was a great political shtick until Mr. Trump pulled the rug out from under them & actually got something done. That’s why the establishment GOP hates him. He revealed the man behind the curtain.

        • They’ll be following Big Gretch’s lead here in MI; proposal 3 easily passed; it’s very depressing this woman governor of ours. She was relected by college students and the big cities.

          She wants to make abortion easy in MI so working women will come here (move their residence) from states like Indiana. She refused to say any limits on abortion in the debates, except that she wanted Roe reinstated.

      • I don’t know if you deserve pity or righteous disgust for being so misinformed. Do you seriously believe anyone is happy about having a heterodox Pope at odds with many aspects of the Deposit of Faith? Do you believe anyone criticizes him frivolously? Are you so cut off from reality that you limit yourself to sources of information that support your preexisting prejudices? How Orwellian do you need to be to be unaware that the actions of President Trump, who reversed many avenues of government spending that financed abortion, domestically and internationally, often by his single-handed actions, led directly to the saving of more lives than the actions of any individual in the whole of human history? Pope Francis, on the other hand, began his pontificate by trivializing concern for abortion as “an obsession.” He consistently hosted praised the most fanatical pro-aborts because they were sympathetic to his visions for globalist authoritarianism. He destroyed the pro-life nature of the Pontifical Academy for Life and made it a repository for radical environmentalist policies that include advancing population control policies. Do you give any thought to how a Pope taking such actions negatively affects the social ethos of the entire world?

      • Jesus did not predict Peter’s faith would not falter. He said his church would be protected. As we know, Peter did go wrong on several occasions, and had to correct himself. St. Paul, a brave bishop, publicly rebuked Peter for his error. This is how the church is supposed to work. That’s why God told us about this incident in writings of the New Testament. Our understanding of papacy seems to have gone too far. How many bishops today would dare do what St. Paul did? They should. And the pope should be willing to listen. Francis has chosen to isolate himself and only listens to select group. It’s a fact.

    • Yes obedience to defending the gospel which says thou shall not kill. No Bishop would be telling me that I couldn’t defend the protection of unborn babies that our Lord breathed life into and belong to him. If your Bishop said vote Biden and give holy communion to him and Mrs Pelosi would you do it. They both openly promote and fight for abortion. Think about it.

    • Nonsense. His advocacy is the real reason he was defrocked. His is a case of those who ruffle too many feathers in high places, which leads to those in high places “building the book” to take him down. (That is, finding “cause” to do so.)

      And if he has been disobedient to his bishop, it is, I will venture to say, the bishop (and many another Catholic as well) who needs fundamentally to rethink his position on the matter of advocacy for the unborn.

  2. If actually being a genuine Catholic has anything at all to do with one being a Catholic priest, bishop or pope in good standing these days, then this is a case of non-catholics defrocking a Catholic priest.

    It is blatant idolatry to render unto Caesar authority over innocent human life that belongs only to God. Genuine Catholics, to avoid signalling to Caesar their approval of the “legal” murder of innocent humanity by the millions, and thereby fall into idolatry and lose their souls, loudly and unceasingly let Caesar (and everybody else) know that Caesar doesn’t have the authority to legalize murder. Fr. Pavone, being a genuine Catholic priest, has been doing just that for decades. His enemies within the Church are non-catholic idolaters. Do non-catholic idolaters have the authority to defrock a genuine Catholic priest?

  3. I’m surprised by a commentator calling fellow Catholics anti-abortion instead of pro-life. It used to be that only those with a ‘pro-choice’ agenda called Catholics ‘anti-abortion’. After all the scandalous activity at the Pontifical Academy for Life, I would sure like to hear Pavone’s side of the story. Pavone has the smell of the sheep on him. PAL members who support abortion and those who appoint them fail that smell test.

  4. I’ve never been a big fan of Fr. Pavone, but this is over-the-top extremism by the Vatican (Bergoglio, Cupich and Tobin, no doubt). James Martin, German bishops and others go their merry way, much more scandalously than anything Pavone has ever said or done. And, yes, Pavone’s greatest sin is supporting Trump. That’s what this is all about. The hatred (for Trump and anyone who voted for him) harbored by some ecclesiastical higher-ups is a scandal itself.

    Warning to Bishop Strickland of Tyler, TX: the knives will be out for you soon for criticizing the Vatican’s decision. Cupich and Tobin will get their way. They are ruthless.

    • Pavone when asked by his Bishop to make an accounting for all the money he was taking from pro-life Catholics refused…there was and is no reason for his refusal. He should make public the amount of money he took from pro-lifers and what he has done with it. He has made some nasty – almost evil – statements about the Church and the Hierarchy…most of whom are good and holy men. He acted like a spoiled child…not like a good or holy Priest. As I have said before…many good men and women and Saints and Martyrs have accepted their persecution and suffering with humble and faithful hearts…IMO Pavone is a whining infantile person and should be mandated to account for what he has done with the massive donations given to him over the years. If her continues to refuse to be held accountable then I do believe Rome should step in since Pavone won’t listen to local Bishops. If he has nothing to hide then just open up and reveal what he has kept hidden for so long…how much money did he receive as donations and what has he done with it. If he refuses then let the investigation begin.

      • What in God’s good name are you implying by the statement: “…all the money he was TAKING from pro-life Catholics.”?

      • As a registered charity, it is imposible to not be transparent. By IRS regulations, all accounting, other than names and addresses of donors, is public record.

  5. I stand with Father Frank Pavone.

    In my opinion, this is s more political than anything else. He is pro-life and openly supported a candidate who later became President.

    Pope Francis supported Fr Pavone’s work. Ñow he doesn’t?

    Something fishy is going on here. Fr Pavone is the only one who has been transparent and needs to be reinstated as a priest if indeed he has been dismissed from the pristhood.

  6. After over 60 Million deaths of Gods creation.Father Pavone is hung out to dry.Mean
    while the “Pro-Choice ” {death} crowd in the Catholic Hierarchy denies the reality of
    what is staring them right back in their faces.We see the ROT everywhere these days.From
    Father Jenkins @ Notre Dame.With his appeasement of Obama/Biden.All the way up the ladder to the Top Rungs of the Vatican.Smiling Demons smile and grin as our Pope hands out Communion to Biden and Pelosi.

  7. “Nothing to see here, keep grazing.” Never better phrased, Savonarola. Note to Catholic laity: Wake up and smell the coffee! Quit grazing in the “Brave New World” that has been foisted on you by a hierarchy that wants to consign the timeless truths if the Catholic Faith to something they call “Synodality.” If you love your Church, it’s up to you now to preserve the Catholic Faith given to us by Jesus..

    • I have to “reply” to myself here. My comment was submitted as a very favorable REPLY to the comment sent in by “Savonarola” appearing a dozen or so comments above. Maybe the Editor can reposition my reply to “Savonarola” so that it will be more clearly understood in context.

  8. I would like to suggest for consideration that the idea of dialogue as singular directive, can not amount to an adequate apologetics for Christianity. Also meriting reflection alongside, is that we can’t reduce all parts of the Church to one modality of expression or way of being. Rounding off, the Church has 2,000 years fidelity in these things that can not justifiably be negated in any context, teaching, witness, engagement, conversation, etc., whether by omissions or occlusion or denial and so on.

    Dom Hugh Somerville-Knapman’s inconclusive article at CATHOLIC HERALD, “Pontifical Academy for Life Sequel”, explores a number of points including this one:

    ‘ This is the sort of academic reflection that always took place out of the public eye, and which contributed to a developing understanding of a particular issue. Simplistically put: theologians debate, the magisterium listens, and then it decides. Divorced from this dialectical context any individual argument can be misconstrued. ‘

    • The idea that because John XXIII said VATICAN II would be “as a new Pentecost”, the Church then must only to be concerned with the first era of her life, is false.

      From VATICAN II, the Church takes up with her whole history for the Glory of God.

      • I further dismiss the idea that witness and apologetic in the first era of the Church’s life, are but a unitary single composite nugget and that such a thing was the ultimate aim of the commission.

  9. Fr. Pavone has not and never has been transparent. He wrote vicious and malevolent notes about those who wanted transparency. Every corporation has yearly check-ups to see how they are spending their money…Pavone has refused and has done so years back in a vicious, infantile way. I hope Pavone does try to sue the Bishops, the Church…then he will be mandated to reveal how much money he has taken from pro-lifers through the years and what he has done with it.

  10. The Church is and has been a house divided. Povone’s situation is but one symptom.
    I ask myself in his case- does the punishment fit the crime?
    Was there another way out of this?

  11. Just to be clear. A pro-life priest is laicized for “disobedience” but James Martin and the German bishops who are blatantly rejecting biblical and church teachings about sexuality remain in the ministry. You can’t make this stuff up. I hold out little hope for renewal in a church hierarchy that is both malignant and malevolent.

  12. The essay is framed to appear balanced when in reality it is far from it. The authors cite Fr Pavone’s reoccurring issues with Cardinal Egan in NY, Bishops in TX and Fl, the Papal Nuncio, the Dicastery on Clergy at the Vatican, as well as Pope Francis.

    In other words, the tacit argument being made is, they ALL can’t be wrong, with respect to Fr Pavone’s uncharitable disobedience; can they?

    But if it turns out that Fr Pavone has and is being obedient to the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church on the primacy of life (along with Pope Saint JPII and Benedict); while some of the Catholic episcopacy have drifted towards disobedience with their new moral relativistic framework that life is just one of many issues that Catholics need to take into consideration (e.g. immigration, capital punishment) in order to possess a well-formed conscience; than we are all faced with the much deeper question of what constitutes true obedience and to whom and what do we owe that obedience.

    Furthermore, I believe Fr Pavone has and is acting in accordance with Saint Thomas Aquinas advice, ” when there is an imminent danger for the Faith, Prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. ”

    Lastly, a good friend of mine states the primacy of the life issue with stark clarity when he appends his emails with ” There can be no CHARITY without LIFE. “

  13. This is just too much Catholic Church politics by the Church’s bishopric authorities — and who are in no way perfect themselves, but can be sinfully human and for the most petty of reasons. Yet grave, very grave, injustice has been done by the Vatican to Father Frank Pavone — by removing him from the priesthood! When good deeds that no one else does so passionately as Father Frank Pavone does on behalf of human life are restricted, then we must reflect on the source of this sinful virus; and most likely it is from shallow-minded bishops that somehow want to have that prideful feeling as being some authorative force in this world.

  14. I just can’t understand how this can happen to such a priest as Fr. Frank. I wish I could read something in-depth that could begin to explain this. If there could be an explanation. I don’t think so.

    • A man is ordained a priest for general ministry. Some have particular apostolates, like Bishop Barron. But they also serve as pastors, and in the case of the filmmaker and writer, he was a seminary rector, auxiliary bishop, and now an ordinary. Perhaps he would have liked making Catholic films full time. But any lay person can do that.

      We don’t know the details, but Frank Pavone’s situation was likely similar. Whether he was a pro-life activist before his ordination or not: this isn’t relevant. He committed to being ordained as a Catholic priest, and he is beholden to his bishop by virtue of being a Roman Catholic ordinand.

      Speaking in human terms, good leaders enable other leaders to follow in their footsteps. Frank Pavone has run PFL his way. And while he has many admirers, he may also have missed opportunities. Why not accept a parish assignment in New York, Amarillo, or Colorado Springs with good grace? Why not let lay people keep the books, write more reflections, oversee the ministries to women who regret abortions?

      In his 12/18 letter he asks what he’s being asked to give up. I suspect he was asked to do ministry like other priests. Any person can be a pro-life activist. You don’t need ordination to do it. Or even baptism. Nearly all of what Frank Pavone was doing was the realm of the secular world and the laity in it. Maybe his laicization is a good thing. No wasted time saying Mass, hearing confessions, or prepping homilies. Now he can go 24/7/365 if he wishes as an activist, and he still has his many followers. And bishops are relieved of the relentless task of asking him to “priest up” and do the work Bishop Barron and James Martin and other celebrities do when they’re off camera or social media.

  15. Political huckster gets hoisted up and claims is he is “blindsided” by the consequences.

    I’d feel bad for him if he wasn’t going to be feted around by various interest groups to be the five-minute opening speaker (before the actual main event) at some PAC conferences for the next year or so.

  16. (1)
    I get the feeling that Fr. Pavone thinks that because he IS faithful to God’s pro-life values, and because many bishops and Vatican officials are NOT faithful to God’s pro-life values, that gives him a “get out jail free” card to do as he likes and say what he wishes, and to scoff at and reject any and all orders, norms, and directives from bishops and even popes, and to flout the clear rules of canon law.
    In effect, it feels as though Fr. Pavone has elected himself as something like the true pope of the Church.
    We all know that there are ways for saints to remainful faithful even when being persecuted.
    Is Fr. Pavone the only worker in the Pro-Life field? Aren’t there others who have made and are making a difference? Does the world really revolve around Fr. Pavone? Are Fr. Pavone’s struggles against episcopal authority really the focal point of the battle of Good vs. Evil in the world?
    Humility, modesty, temperance, generosity, mercy, equanimity, a spirit of obedience to authorities, forgiveness, and an acute sense of one’s own limits and failing, are all important parts of the path of the saint who is being persecuted.

    When EWTN’s Mother Angelica was being persecuted by certain members of the hierarchy, she found a way within canon law to keep the bishops from taking control of EWTN.
    Yet Mother Angelica did NOT get herself or any of her nuns or employees excommunicated or laicized.
    Mother Angelica acted with prudence.
    Mother Angelica put God and God’s holy mission and God’s holy virtues (e.g., humility; love of neighbor; temperance) above her own pride and egotism.
    Mother Angelica’s EWTN continues to this day to serve God and God’s people. (6)
    By contrast, Fr. Pavone’s Priests for Life is sputtering to an end, and Fr. Pavone’s life of service to God as a priest has come to a disastrous end.
    I feel pretty sure that Fr. Pavone could have made sure there was a different ending to his story, just as Mother Angelica did with her story.

    • Gus you card names and fix the match. No good.

      What The Maid of Orleans, La Pucelle, Jeanne d’Ay de Domremy, Joan of Arc, brought forth to Charles VII, was the mandate for reclaiming France. The force raised up for it and the drive to settle it for good, were on account of her. She can be credited with a lot more: defeat of a wicked pair of enemies, sweeping strategies, compassion, Catholic witness, soldierly excellence, the consoling of France, patience with a quivering Crown. She was betrayed to a philanderer who betrayed her to the English; and then she was betrayed by a priest by name of Cauchon who tried to poison her spirit and then handed her over into the pyre.

      You would be saying that the reason for all these betrayals and her execution, was her fault; and she never had merit. I would be saying you mustn’t use Mother Angelica’s name that way.

    • Gus wrote: “(2) Yet Mother Angelica did NOT get herself or any of her nuns or employees excommunicated or laicized.”

      Let’s be clear. Nuns are laywomen and cannot be laicized. And while we’re at it, laicization means a priest loses the clerical state and all the rights and privileges that pertain to it but he remains a priest forever. The sacred character of Holy Orders, like that of Baptism, Confirmation, and Marriage, can never be removed or diminished.

    • Priests do not “take” vows. Nor do they profess vows. They make promises of celibacy (not to marry) and obedience. Promises are not vows.

      Religious profess vows that may or may not be poverty, chastity, obedience. Benedictine monks are nuns profess vows of stability and obedience. It all depends on the constitution of the particular institute.

      Make sure you know the difference before making assertions. Popular beliefs of the average layperson are often incorrect.

  18. Father Pavone is a priest for life. Unfortunately bishop Zurek is also a priest for his lifetime. Perhaps it is his subordination of God’s spirit in each conception to obediance to an earthly Bishop Zurek’s orders that needs critiquing. May Jesus be the judge.

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  1. Frank Pavone cancels Mass but vows legal action after Vatican dismisses him from priesthood | Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph (FSJ) , Asumbi Sisters Kenya
  2. Frank Pavone cancels Mass but vows legal action after Vatican dismisses him from priesthood | Passionists Missionaries Kenya, Vice Province of St. Charles Lwanga, Fathers & Brothers
  3. Full text: Pope Francis' in-flight press conference from Canada - Catholic World Report - On The Bosom Of Nature
  4. Frank Pavone cancels Mass but vows legal action after Vatican dismisses him from priesthood – Catholic World Report – The Old Roman

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