It’s so encouraging to see so many people on the same page with me, loving and respecting the Church and, out of that very love and respect, supporting the pro-life mission we are all engaged in together. Amidst the many expressions of support, many say to me that they are praying for me “in this difficult time.”
But what’s difficult about it?
Sure, it’s distressing to have to endure false suspicions, inaccurate media reports, and disruption to a mission which is at the core of my life. That’s all the temporary distress of what’s happening in these days.
But that’s nothing compared to the distress I experience every day because my unborn brothers and sisters are being butchered by abortion. Tears, sleepless nights, anger, righteous indignation – this and more come to me each day because something is happening to the youngest members of the human family…
…I’m sitting here in Amarillo right now because I’m a faithful and obedient priest, as I promised to be long ago. But there’s a more fundamental reason I’m sitting here, and it’s for the children that nearly everybody forgets and ignores. I’m here because cooperating with Church authority at this moment is the best way to preserve the mission I lead to save these children, a mission aimed precisely at increasing the Church’s awareness of and response to this holocaust.
But let’s be clear. Nobody needs anybody else’s permission to save a human life, to rescue a child from dismemberment and decapitation. In fact, to fail to do so is to fail miserably as a priest, as a Catholic, as a Christian, and as a human being. God deliver us from that fate.
UPDATE: Canon lawyer Ed Peters late last night offered his assessment of the above, not as a lawyer but as a layman. He concludes his comments by addressing Fr. Pavone directly — and critically:
The daily, unseen strivings of the People of God—even those whom you label as miserable failures for never having saved a human life or rescued a child from dismemberment—contribute mightily to the holiness of the Mystical Body of Christ, a holiness on which we all, including you, draw daily. Such people deserve your respect and even gratitude, not words of disdain and disparagement.
I offer a final suggestion with, I hope, with your good, the good of the pro-life movement, and the good of the Church, in mind: stop airing your angst about your situation in public, and let cooler heads on both sides, guided by law, resolve this conflict.
You’ll want to read it all.
UPDATE II: You’ll also want to read Diane over at Te Deum laudamus and why she is disappointed with Fr. Pavone.