Group plans to protest Fr. Pavone's "ecclesiastical house arrest"

As someone mentioned to me in an e-mail, the wisest thing for Fr. Pavone to do at this moment would be to “call off the dogs.”

Details, from Ed Peters:

A group called “The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform” has decided to intervene in behalf of Fr. Pavone. I know little about CBR, but if their goal is to aggravate the Zurek-Pavone dispute, they could hardly have chosen a better array of inflammatory, indeed outrageous, methods.

“Until Bishop Zurek releases Fr. Pavone from what amounts from [sic] ecclesiastical house arrest,” proclaims a press release from CBR, its activists, carrying large color photos of aborted babies, will soon picket many Amarillo Catholic parishes and at least one Catholic middle and high school. CBR also plans to launch “a fleet of large billboard trucks bearing signs which will depict aborted babies” and has arranged for “aircraft towing large aerial billboards which will also bear aborted baby imagery and exhortational text messages.” All of this apparently meets CBR’s definition of “respectfully asking” Zurek to “FREE FR. FRANK!” and allow Pavone to resume his pro-life work outside the Diocese of Amarillo.

Really. I’m not kidding.

About the only doff of the cap to sanity I see in CBR’s announcement is its plan to post “parental warning signs…as a courtesy near targeted churches, to caution parents of small children that they may wish to attend Mass elsewhere.”

Riiiiiight, like parents are supposed to arrive at church on Sunday morning with a carload of kids and, rather than see them horrified by pictures of dead babies, pile everybody back in the car and drive to the next parish (what time is Mass there, dear?), arrive and, Great Scot!, there’s a CBR picket here too!, oh for crying out loud!, where’s the next parish, honey? etc., etc. Meanwhile, just what are parents of students at Holy Cross Academy supposed to do? Drop their kids off at the next school?

Folks, this is plain nuttiness.

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10 responses to “Group plans to protest Fr. Pavone's "ecclesiastical house arrest"”

  1. hahahahahaha.

    This is “nutty”, but doing the same thing at a place where some innocent women may be showing up to get basic (non-abortion, or even reproductive-related) healthcare is some bold witness to “life”?

    Yet more reinforcement for my love of “pro-life” while loathing “pro-lifers”.

  2. Deacon Norb, this is something I noticed when we first moved to the rural midwestern parish 13 years ago — the faithful here keep the Church on a very short leash. The Sunday collection is always under budget, but if they ask for something specific for a specific purpose, then the money (or whatever resource) always appears. But the level of trust is not particularly high.

    I’m not sure if this isn’t simply cultural, though. A combination of cautiousness an stinginess…

  3. I think the methods used by this group is wrong. I think it makes sense to have protests at the parishes in this dioceses requesting parishioners to support Father Frank Pavone. I do not think taking the pictures along makes sense because most people who do go to Mass are already heavily pro life and do understand the battle. The signs work at abortion sites because those going there need to see what their decision is going to do to a human life.

    I am a little concerned about those who say soming like this in comment above…Yet more reinforcement for my love of “pro-life” while loathing “pro-lifers”.

    This is usually something someone says when they say they are pro life, but really don’t do much of anything themselves to try to stop the holocaust.

    This protest does make a very serious point. Father Pavone is clearly the major builder and leader of PFL. His being called to the carpet for some undetermined time because of a dispute over authority and audits doesn’t seem to make sense if the goal of the Church is to stop abortions. Seems like this could have been allowed to work its way through in the Vatican while Father Frank and PFL continued the battle to end abortion. thus the showing the signs to detail what is going on while the leadership in the Catholic Church in this dioceses fiddles around. First of all, since the trip to Brazil was long planned, I would think it makes sense to have brought Father Pavone in when the Bishop was going to be in the country and available to act. I also do not understand why the Bishop sent out this letter to all the other bishops which one would have to assume would leak out. This whole thing is very strange and very poorly handled.

  4. This is precisely the reason why bishops want to nip celebrity priesthood in the bud. It turns into a cult movement every time.

  5. Of course the Holy Spirit might have other plans than the Bishop Kenneth. Having had the honor to have Father Pavone stay over a couple times in our home, it is easy to see why this humble dedicated man has been successful in building PFL at a time when we are living in this holocaust with numbers that make Nazi death camps pale in comparison. I have to believe God is behind the pro life movement in bringing forth those willing to work on the front lines against this grave evil. I also believe Satan is also working here as well to try to stop those same people. Again, not sure what is motivating this conflict, but the ones who lose are God’s gift of life in the womb.

  6. One more comment on this topic. Just humble observance of a lifelong Catholic in the pews and over 70 years old.

    I see some who have screamed out the importance of this priest to obey his bishop. I always find it interesting to see those on the liberal side in the Catholic Church interested in priest or bishops showing their obedience, but not all the time.

    When Humane Vitae came out, I do not remember a lot of people calling for the priest and bishops to Obey the teaching of the Pope on birth control. In fact, there was massive open dissent even though this remains the teaching of the Catholic Church today. In fact, the left called for mass dissent from the Pope.

    When Blessed Pope John Paul II in Ex Corde Ecclesiae required for Catholics who teach theological disciplines in the U.S. Catholic colleges and universities to get a mandatum from the local bishop, I must have missed the screaming from the liberals that these Catholic Universities come under the guidelines of the Bishop and thus must inforce this “requirement”. In fact, the left called for mass dissent from this call from the Pope.

    When the USCCB set out a requirement that all Catholic institutions including its universities not invite pro abortion politicians to speak at their facilities or to honor them, I missed the call for Obedience to the entire USCCB in the USA. Instead, the left called for dissent and cheered when ND and many other (often Jesuit led) universities thumbed their nose at the USCCB.

    I could go on for a long time on the liberal side approving and formenting dissent and failing to obey church teaching, but this alone should give those on the left some pause in now calling for complete obedience to this bishop who is now attacking PFL credibility and leadership. Could be because those on the left also do things like vote for the most pro abortion president ever in Obama and want PFL silenced. I think father Pavone did the right thing in returning to his dioceses as requested. I wish all the priests and bishops would show total obedience to actual Church teaching and to the USCCB and the Pope.

  7. One more example of the “circular firing squad” approach of pro-lifers. We are our own worst enemies.

    When all you have is a hammer, every problem appears to be a nail. When you’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars on huge posters of aborted babies, it can appear to you that these are your most effective means of addressing any and all problems.

    Can you imagine the thought process that went into the conclusion that setting up pictures of aborted babies at parishes is the most effective way of addressing this issue?

    How about, for instance, handing over the books of Priests for Life for inspection by an outside auditor? Might that be a more effective way of allaying any concerns about the handling of millions of dollars?

    No, instead, lets get planes to fly banners of aborted babies over Texas. That’ll work.

  8. Haven’t you heard, humble genius? Calls for financial accountability (and priestly obedience) are a scurrilous move by the forces of Satan himself to discredit a man whose holiness is self-evident and beyond reproach!

    He is the last true man of virtue and the unborn’s only champion in the entire Church and a world shot through with indifference and moral corruption! He is the Aung San Suu Kyi of all people of virtue everywhere and he’s under “house arrest” by the Burmese generals of the hierarchy! He is humanity’s last hope and if we need to traumatize some middle-schoolers to show that, so be it!

    I myself will be going on a hunger strike until such time as Fr. Pavone is free! (Well, I’m going to get some pizza from my favorite place tonight, but then I’m on board all the way!)

  9. Kenneth:

    “Calls for financial accountability (and priestly obedience) are a scurrilous move by the forces of Satan himself to discredit a man whose holiness is self-evident and beyond reproach!”

    Re: a man whose holiness is self-evident and beyond reproach

    Hopefully, he is but I wouldn’t go there if I were you!

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