In Amarillo, protests for Fr. Pavone — UPDATED

They took to the skies, and to the streets, Friday, according to local reports:

An airplane, two trucks and one demonstrator holding signs made up the efforts of an anti-abortion organization Friday to urge local Catholics to implore Diocese of Amarillo Bishop Patrick J. Zurek to rethink his decision to keep prominent anti-abortion priest Father Frank Pavone in Amarillo.

The demonstration highlights the public nature of the dispute between the two church figures, which University of Dayton theology professor Dennis Doyle said is taking place within a larger conflict between the Catholic Church’s need for independence from secular authority and a push for greater transparency in the church after a maelstrom of sexual abuse scandals shook the church in recent years.

“I guess it’s playing out a little bit like a seesaw in that, as a Catholic, on the one hand I think that the church has to be subject to the laws of the land wherever it finds itself, and on the other hand the Catholic Church needs to have some degree of independence from secular authority,” Doyle said. “There’s pull in both directions, and I don’t think there’s any ultimate resolution to it.”

Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World News, said Pope Benedict XVI has recently emphasized greater transparency in the church, but that Lawler “wouldn’t take it too far” and said Zurek’s decision to make his concerns over Pavone public is a result of Pope Benedict’s efforts.

However, he said, church officials may have handled a situation like this differently 20 years ago.

“You have personalities involved. It’s hard to say,” Lawler said. “I’d say no, that I think it would be more likely 20 years ago that it wouldn’t have come to a head in public like this.”

Doyle said a push for more openness may benefit the church as a whole in the long run, though in the short term, publicizing conflicts and scandals in the name of honesty may hurt the church’s public image.

“Transparency is a two-edged sword,” he said. “It can hurt to have the light shine on you, but as you adjust to it, it’s better to be out in the light.”

The airplane, which started flying over town Friday morning, and the large trucks, which started circling about 3:15 p.m. around St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral and School, 1200 S. Washington St., all featured graphic images of aborted fetuses.

The sign carrier, Center for Bio-Ethical Reform Director Gregg Cunningham, said the two topics of his demonstration, Pavone’s conflict with Zurek and the effort to end abortion, are interrelated as Pavone, the founder of anti-abortion group Priests for Life, is unable to perform his anti-abortion work if he cannot leave Amarillo.

“We don’t want people to trivialize this dispute as some sort of bureaucratic accounting conflict,” he said. “There’s more at stake here than this. That’s why we want people to look at the pictures. We at least want people to understand that there’s a real baby at stake here and when Priests for Life becomes less effective, the odds of that baby dying go up.”

Read more.

Also: CNA interviews canon lawyer Ed Peters, who offers his own analysis of the Pavone dispute.  And David Gibson reports on financial problems plaguing Priests for Life, including operating at a significant deficit.

UPDATE: Dr. Gerard Nadal has some harsh words for the protests in Amarillo:

Is this what Father Pavone is all about? Is this his great life’s work? I think not, but people are asking why he hasn’t called off the dogs.

Bishop Zurek didn’t come to town and immediately change course, which is still his episcopal prerogative, anyway. He allowed Father Pavone to continue on in his ministry and launched an investigation of the finances and the prudential use of monies after receiving complaints from clergy and laity alike. That’s his responsibility.

Then he took further action (however clumsily and uncharitably) when he didn’t like the answers he was getting, which is also his responsibility. And now, here we are. Trucks sporting pictures of murdered babies circling a Catholic school until Father Pavone’s friends get their way.

Disgusting.

This is not how the Holy Spirit works. He unites. He does not divide.

It also might just work, but it will come at a terrible, terrible price. It is already creating a split in the pro-life community and causing Father Pavone to lose more stature than Bishop Zurek could with ten more letters like the first.

Check out the rest.

UPDATE: Comments closed.

Comments

  1. This is ridiculous. Is HE Priests for Life?? So let his organization handle the work without him until he comes back, if he comes back. Show biz priests leave me cold. The church is the body of Christ. Stop the drama.

  2. If the photos are representative, it appears that Amarillo Catholics agree with poster #1 (Joan) by one hundred percent, as none are participating. While it appears our culture, society and politics are run amok there are apparently still some Catholics left at least in Amarillo who are not.

  3. “Urge Bishop Zurek to ‘Free Father Frank’”

    Again I say that it is a dim view of the diocesan priesthood that views it as a prison. The longer this thuggishness plays itself out with Pavone’s supporters in Amarillo, the fewer supporters there will be of PFL.

  4. So glad to see that the “big” protest did not happen.

  5. A very wise but very quiet member of my parish was asked about his insight into the Frs Corapi/Pavone controversies.

    His brief answer: “Both are huge egos claiming to care about the right to life.”

    He was immediately challenged as to why he did not care whether the pro-life movement lived or died. In his very dignified way, he kept his peace while someone else in the group came to his defense.

    Unknown to anyone else in our parish, my friend had been sending a monthly stipend to the local Crisis Pregnancy Center for at least five years. Several years ago, when he found out that the diocesan Project Rachel programming (for post-abortion counseling) needed help to pull off a special one-time program, a substantial check was promptly mailed. Along with that was a pledge that if that special rogram was ever repeated and needed a similar infusion of funds, it would be there.

    One hundred percent of all of his Pro-Life donations went to direct care services for either crisis pregnancies or post-abortion counseling. It was done quietly — without fanfare — without ego.

    As the Risen Lord Jesus will no doubt say “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

  6. “A very wise but very quiet member of my parish was asked about his insight into the Frs Corapi/Pavone controversies.

    His brief answer: ‘Both are huge egos claiming to care about the right to life.’”

    I thought we shouldn’t judge, how can we say Pavone’s ego is huge or that he does not care about the right to life, this is truly unfair, he has committed his life to work for the unborn. So before anyone criticizes the ego of a hardworking priest trying to do his best to stop a horrible evil, maybe he/she should remember that he/she should stop playing God who alone can judge the heart of a person.

  7. I really am big on OBEDIENCE. Whenever we tend to grow a bigger ego someone needs to let us know so that we can grow smaller and He can grow larger. I will be much more careful in the future where I donate my money anywhere…religious or secular.

  8. The real losers in this are the laity. Shame on Fr. Frank for making this a public dispute. He has had problems with 3 bishops now. That should tell people something. Fr. Frank is NOT the prolife movement. For those who wish to truly help, send a check directly to the crisis pregnancy center in your town. The money will go to women and babies. There is nothing better that you can do.

  9. The Diocese of Amarillo:

    1) Has no authority over Priests for Life.

    2) Bishop accused Father Pavone of an ego (detraction).

    3) Has no more authority over his case (he appealed to Rome).

    4) Game, set, match.

  10. Bill Russell says:

    Father Pavone: in trouble with three bishops over the years, and a brief stint with the Vatican Council for the Family which did not work out, as well as the Vatican’s rejection of his attempt to form a canonical society. Now pickets and airplane protests? Too many Drama Queens in the Church. How many of these “protesters” also defended Father Corapi?

  11. I’m glad to read the reasonable comments here. Fr. Pavone is NOT Priests for Life. He MAY need an ego-check, and that’s between his bishop and himself. Donating dollars directly to crisis pregnancy centers is certainly a proactive and pro-life act for the lives of the unborn. Let Fr. Pavone answer to his bishop without, as Joanc57, says “The Drama.”

  12. My children attend St. Mary’s Cathedral School. I wish someone in this group protesting would realize that my kids shouldn’t be able to view these pictures. They are outside of a school. My kids shouldn’t have to be around pictures of dead fetuses. If they have a problem with the bishop’s decision, they need to wait until he comes back, or get a petition going. Hello????

  13. If PFL cannot function without Fr. Pavone, then he didn’t do a very good job at running the organization. No one is indespensible. Does he think he is the only priest who can carry out the job? The very first time I heard Fr. Pavone preach the first two things that came into my mind were “ego” and “showman”. “Humility” never crossed my mind as I listened.

  14. Obedience is one thing. The question is did Bp Zurek do any good? Nope! He caused a scandal making this public. The man set a dramatical platform for himself and the whole entire church. Bad bad judgement on his part. I am beginning to wonder if this Bishop is a mason. Was he paid off by a politician? Afterall Pavone really tells it like it is! Doesn’t look very nice when a “Sheperd” who is supposed to steer priests under him the right way – causes a ruckus all over the nation. Now there are slanderous malicious comments all over the nation about this. How do you like them apples? The demons were let loose people. They are having a hay day about this. Zurek shoulda’ thought about this before letting that letter go public. “Non sunt facienda mala ut eveniant bona” (We must not do evil, even in order that some good may come).

  15. Fr Pavone is going (gone) the same way as Fr. Caropi.

    The just haven’t figured it out yet.

    The sooner they figure it out the sooner the Pro Life movement will move on.

    This is not helping the cause

  16. Vero1956,

    There is no good way that Bishop Zurek could have recalled Father Pavone without raising suspicions. Suppose he had simply demanded his return to Amarillo. That would have left the field wide open to all manner of speculation, which would have been most uncharitable.

    The truth of the matter is that these two men have been at odds for some time, as evidenced by their respective public statements.

    As much as I admire all that Father Pavone has done, the truth is that this battle will be raging long after he and I are dead and gone, and neither he, nor any other pro-life figure is indispensable. That his supporters have now laid siege to Amarillo opens an unhealthy view into the pro-life movement. Images of aborted babies are being deployed to primarily wage war on a bishop in the hopes that their unsightly visage will bring pressure to bear on Bishop Zurek not only from Catholics, but all the citizens of Amarillo.

    That’s reprehensible, and a desecration of the memory of those little ones who were butchered.

    This had better stop, and Pavone had better call of the dogs before Amarillo becomes his Alamo.

  17. RE #5: “Unknown to anyone else in our parish, my friend had been sending a monthly stipend to the local Crisis Pregnancy Center for at least five years … It was done quietly…”

    This is a well meaning, but faulty argument. If the benefactor had “quietly” donated money, then why does this commenter know about it? Because someone writes big cheques from what may be a substantial bank account and donates the money to well-deserving pro-life agencies, this does not necessarily indicate overarching “wisdom.” It does, however, indicate a generous heart.

    God bless all the big givers, but I also think of the widow’s mite. How many people quietly give smaller donations that equal the same percentage of salary as that of a wealthier person?

  18. At this point, I don’t care if Pavone is right. I don’t care if he is a saint who has raised people from the dead. Through his words and through his silences, he is providing scandal. He may have stopped just short of showing contempt for his bishop, but the more enthusiastic of his supporters are not — and if I can see that, so can he. For the good of his supporters, for the good of Priests for Life, and for the good of his own soul, he should step aside and let the organization go on without him the same way it would if he were to die tonight. If Priests for Life cannot survive without him, then there never really was much to it after all.

    Let’s not have anybody think that he is indispensable to the Lord, and that God Himself could not end abortion without him!

  19. Richard W Comerford says:

    Re: Human Nature Does Not Change

    In the 13th Century the hermits of Mount Carmel fled west to escape the Muslims. There they underwent various reforms and reorganizations. The changes brought much turmoil and controversy. There were men and women on both sides of the issues who wee later raised to the altar.

    These controversies reached its head in Spain in the 16th Century. The Apostolic Nuncio and the Carmelite Prior General were locked in a struggle for the control of the order. Among other controversial things the Nuncio appointed St. John of the Cross as chaplain to St. Therese’s convent.

    In 1575 the Carmelits met in general convention. They decided to order all friars to return to the monasteries to which they had been assigned by the Prior General. St. John refused citing the now deceased Nuncio’s order.

    In 1577 St. John’s Provencal Superior had him arrested and imprisoned in his monastery. After 9-months of horrific mistreatment St. John broke out of his cell and escaped his monastery. After his escape things calmed down quite a bit. But after St. John’s death many reformers left their order and formed the Discalced Carmelites.

    An excellent summary of these troubles can be found in the 1906 Introduction to the “Ascent of Mount Carmel” by a Discalced Carmelite Abbot here:

    http://ia700204.us.archive.org/23/items/ascentofmountcar00johnuoft/ascentofmountcar00johnuoft.pdf

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  20. I do not understand the comparisions with Corapi. One was accused of grave offenses, the other not. One chose to leave the priesthood, the other cancelled speaking engagements and returned to his diocese when ordered by his bishop. The bishop feels Fr. Frank would benefit from taking a step out of the lime light. Fr. Frank thinks not. I think they wiil work this all out with the help of the Holy Spirit. Let’s just say a prayer for our priests and bishops. The bloggers are making this a much bigger deal than it should be.

  21. Amazing attacks on Father Pavone. Let’s see, what has he done? He has not abused a child. He has not been accused of a single crime. He had gone to Amarillo where one could assume that the then bishop had wanted to give him a great deal of freedom because he obviously supported PFL and their mission. They had hoped to build a seminary in Amarillo to build more priests like Father Pavone to help fight the battle for life. It appears that this did not pan out as hoped. There may or may not be a question about the understanding on the funds surrounding that seminary and since it did not work out who those funds belonged to. Father Pavone it appears had provided audit info but it was not what the current bishop was looking for from him and PFL. In the midst of these discussions, the bishop sent out a letter in which he stated he was suspending Father Pavone and that there were questions about funding issues. I think this was a huge error on the part of the Bishop who just happened to be leaving to go out of town for what seems like a few weeks in Brazil which had been long planned. If he did not think a broadcast letter would not leak, he is naive. If he did not care, it is really bad. As far as I know he has been silent on the issue while the Archdiocese has been left to try to clean up the mess on the “suspended” issue which they say was not the case and to emphasize that Father Pavone has not been accused of anything which would be required long before a priest is suspended. What did Father Pavone do? He left everything he was doing and returned to the archdiocese. He is the lone one of the two in town and being asked questions. He indicated as he did when he went to Amarillo that his mission is to end the murder of babies and if he cannot do that as part of this diocese that he would seek out another dioceses to work from. He also, based on the suspension being released, did what he should have done and seeks clarification and vindication from Rome. He has not left the dioceses showing obedience in the face of the poor use of the suspension letter.

    Wow, lets heap on Father Pavone for all that he has done wrong here which I have yet to understand exactly what that was in this mess. The bishop by his poor actions and wording created this mess releasing it to the world and leaving town. So why are so many heaping abuses on Father Pavone? Could it be that they do not like PFL mission or that it points out the hypocrisy of those who support pro abortion party and candidates? Could it be that so few have lifted a hand to end this current holocaust?

    And in the example of Comerford 19 above, is he advocating Father Pavone break free as did St John of the Cross and form his own order. It appears that what St John did in refusing to do as his order, to whom is vows were made, he was worse than Father Pavone who did go back when requested and remains there today also accused of something by the word ‘suspended’ that the diocese now says there is no accusation of any wrongdoing. I think more here should be questioning the actions of this Bishop than of the priest. SAD….

  22. Check out Priests for Life with the national Better Business Bureau.

  23. This Deacon again takes controversy and divisive issues, unimportant issues to get catholic readers to snipe at each other. He should fold his useless tent and reread the instruction manual for deacons. Wrestling in the mud is not what the Apostles had in mind for Deacons !!!

  24. Richard W Comerford says:

    Re: On Deacons

    Both our present and immediate past Holy Father’s have urged Catholics to get involved in the new media. The Deacon is doing exactly that. He took a tremendous beating during the Corapi kerfuffle. And I am grateful for his efforts.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  25. Richard W Comerford says:

    Greta:

    “And in the example of Comerford 19 above, is he advocating Father Pavone break free as did St John of the Cross and form his own order.”

    I am advocating obedience, charity and justice by and for all parties.

    “It appears that what St John did in refusing to do as his order, to whom is vows were made, he was worse than Father Pavone”

    To this day this is controversy as to exactly who St John owed lawful obedience to: The deceased Nuncio or the Prior general supported by the general conventioneer of the Carmelites?

    In 1906 Abbot Zimmerman O.C.D. writing in the work cited above wrote:

    “Throughout the painful history of the Reform nearly all the mischief resulted from the existence of two different authorities, at variance with each other.”

    This “mischief” went on for almost 3-centures.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  26. Folks are pulling at whatever they can to make Pavone look bad. I am glad that CBR went out there to demonstrate what is being done to the innocent unborn. “As a movement we are still learning what strategies will work best in the long run. We must be careful not to tear down our fellow pro-life brethren who are involved in various fronts of this struggle. We may disagree with certain strategy, and it is important for our leadership to come together and respectfully explore these differences. However we must avoid the temptation to divide and polarize those with different responses to the horror of abortion. We must work together to dismantle the ignorance and denial that perpetrates this violence upon Parents and their unborn children.” For those that use graphic images in their pro life work, here is a message you may want to share with those that are angry or upset after viewing these images: If you have had an abortion, these images can be deeply disturbing and arouse very painful feelings. The purpose of these pictures is not to condemn those that have had abortions. Anyone who has suffered the loss of a child to abortion can find healing and forgiveness of your pain and grief and reconciliation with your child. Please understand that we do not wish to disrespect the tiny bodies of these aborted children, but through the presentation of the reality of their deaths, call our country to repentance so that abortion will become an unthinkable choice. We also pray that these images will lead their parents and all post abortive persons to seek reconciliation and healing so that they will not spend years suffering emotional problems, addictions, repeat abortions, and other self-destructive behaviors that many suffer after their participation in abortion. Through these images we seek to love and honor these aborted children, call our country to repentance, lead parents facing an unplanned pregnancy to give life to their child, and reach out to those wounded by their participation in abortion with the good news of healing. Taken from an article written by Kevin and Theresa Burke who are founders of Rachel’s Vineyard.” Source:http://bit.ly/9GXy82

  27. I remember when Fr Frank Pavone was just starting out in his role as a protector of the “unborn.” AND yes I believe they have souls; after all, I had two pregnancies miscarry, and I feel that they were people in formation! I miss them as much as I miss any relative that died. HOWEVER, I do wish people would NOT put him in the same sentence as Fr John Corapi. I loved to listen to Fr Corapi teach about the Catholic church; he is, after all, a very brilliant man. However, he is too brilliant. That spread in Montana – the possibility of sexual misconduct – the refusal to do as bidden by his superior in the Church – I cannot abide that. Nor would any Catholic of character. I grieve for his soul. I pray for his soul as well. Fr Frank, as I understand it, might be treading on thin ice for being too personally involved at too many aspects at the top of Priests for Life. I can see an easy solution for that. Let him organize the speeches, the training, the other things which get the word itself out. Let LAY people do the bookwork, the accounting, the things which are NOT religious in nature. THAT would keep him where he is in NO way accused to have a finger in the pie. I truly don’t believe he would want to be accused of any calumny or malfeasance.

  28. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Rex…

    “The bloggers are making this a much bigger deal than it should be.”

    I suggest the culprit is Fr. Pavone.

    He is the one who is constantly releasing defensive statements — one observer called them “petulant” — while granting interviews and tweeting and updating his Facebook status every hour. It’s Fr. Pavone who has released videos on YouTube and press releases on his website, proclaiming his innocence and irritation at this process. Except for one or two press releases and statements, the Diocese of Amarillo has remained largely silent.

    It’s Fr. Pavone who is keeping this story alive and throwing fuel on the fire. Blogs are mostly reacting to that.

    Dcn. G.

  29. There is certainly consternation abounding about this issue. However, as a canon lawyer, I have to say that the Bishop is well within his rights to ask Fr. Pavone to return to his home diocese. The bishop’s statement was not, as has been alleged, released to the public venue. It was sent as a confidential statement to other bishop’s of the USA, informing them in advance that Fr. Pavone’s permission to minister outside of his home diocese was being revoked. Yes, the bishop’s wording was not the most precise, canonically, however he felt a serious concern, and felt it important to give notification to his brother bishops in the College of Bishops here in the USA. That was a sane decision, a just decision. He did not hold a press conference and make that memo public. Someone took liberties and posted it to the world-wide-web, which of course helped feed the malestorm. Fr. Pavone’s words which I have both read (in issued statements by him) and which I have heard on the internet, from interviews he gave to local media in Texas, have some noble but also some disturbing aspects. He seems to portray that he has a “universal” calling which gives aspirations to do as he wishes independent of his diocesan bishop. He even stated bluntly that he would simply go find another bishop. That reeks of a total lack of understanding of incardination and obedience. Having stated such publicly will definitely not help his cause of administrative recourse to Rome. The fact that his bishop has kept a low profile and quiet is exactly the tactic that I, as a canonist, would have advised Fr. Pavone. The more he speaks, the more he seems to damage his defense. The more he speaks, the more his actions seem to concur with his bishop’s written concerns, stated to brother bishops, and unfortunately made public, that Fr. Pavone seems to be strongly independent and lacking in will to be totally obedient. Thus, it makes sense even more so now, why his bishop wrote to others bishops, to appraise them of his concerns and as a forewarning should Fr. Pavone immediately start searching about for a benevolent bishop thus attempting to excardinate/incardinate. He would not be able to do so without the written persmission of his present bishop. I wish Fr. Pavone and his bishop the best. However, this matter is PRIVATE and should not, from the very start, have been posted all over the internet. And once it became public, Fr. Pavone’s canonical advisor sent FAXes to many pastors about the USA strongly protesting innocence. This reeks of “protesting too much.” Priest for Life, if it is a work of God, can and will continue to work for the Kingdom with its key leader out of pocket for a while. Hopefully this matter will quietly be resolved, but should not be conducted in front of public media.

  30. Patricia Cornell St. Louis, MO says:

    Even Jesus Christ from the Cross, He who started His Church, did not stay to complete the work. He left 11 men and His blessed Mother to carry out the work in their lives.

    He knew these people would educate others who would educate others, ad infinitum, until the present day.

    Is this process not admirable and studied and followed by leaders the world over? People who pledge their obedience to their superior cannot just break this vow at will.

    BUT, this is just MHO.

    Patricia in St. Louis, MO

  31. augustinehippo says:

    After reading all 16 of the above responses I’m reminded of Christ saying that the tongue is such a small member but what a great fire it can enkindle.Rumors and gossip have been spread abroard for years about Fr.Pavone and that includes statements by some who would consider themselves conservative Catholics.Bishop Zurek,by writing to all the bishops of the US engaged in heated language which impuned Pavone’s character.We should all be careful of the sin of rash judgement because that violates the commandment that we should not bear false witness against our neighbor.
    Fr.Pavone has no control over the group in Texas which has been described as his followers.Father was heard on Ave Maria radio stating that the leader,Mr.Cunningham was a Protestant and didn’t understand the inner workings of the Catholic church.Father went on to say that he inforned Cunningham that his planned demonstrations were not helpful.

  32. I am sure the Bishop is within his authority, but those who live in glass houses…etc.

    It would be nice if Bishop Zurek also demanded that the USCCB reveal where its funds from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) are going. Since the big stink the USCCB has not only kept its 2010 donations a secret, but pulled its 2009 list off their website. Lead by example.

  33. My bad, they just recently posted it!!!!

  34. Glad to know Don has it all figured out, has all the information about this (and Corapi’s) situation. The great thing about these blogs is that I can learn more about the actual hearts of popular priests than anywhere else! Thanks for making it clear to me that Pavone is truly an egotistical man who doesn’t really care about the pro-life cause. And Howard, you too, thanks for the insight into the situation, it is comforting to know that there are people out here on blogs who can see with clarity in to the heart and souls of priests! and you know, you’re right, finally somebody gets it! We should stop fighting abortion cuz Gods got that one covered and switch over to the judging of priests like Pavone!

    “The commenters have spoken, the matter is settled”

  35. I am so proud of the many strong wise and humble pro-life people that I have had the honor to know and work with in my community and parish. The pro-life cause is not Fr Franks alone and he is not the reason it has known success. It ois becaus eof those brave folks all around us who have been devoting their lives to the cause of life since 1973!

    If I hear Fr Frank say one more time how unique he is because “he has devoted his live as no one has before to this effort” ( I have heard him say that, personally!) I will be sick.

    I fear Father’s fans and his ego need a check. I hope this Bishop can brave the storm that Fr Frank’s fan club will continue to produce for their hero.

    I much prefer the sometimes silent but always powerful work of the pregnancy center staffs and steady reliable Right to Life groups that have produced some of the best pro-life laws around. They just keep working without a single, special, star at the helm. I have met many that I would say as much maybe more honor for their work then the troubled Fr Pavone.

    If, as has been said, Fr Pavone is Preists for Life, then there is a big problem. I have supected for some time that there might be trouble there because not one of my strong pro-life priest friends will even consider signing up w/ him. They question his circumstances and attitude.

    I believe Fr Pavone is pro-life, but he is surrounded by individuals that keep his star rising. What he may need now is someone who will tell him the truth. He is not the pro-life movement, and it will go on with or with out him, as it always has.

    God loves all His children and will not abandon even the littlest!

  36. Dear reverend fathers please obey your bishop without question or complaining. Quit giving interviews and go about you work the bishop gives you with humility and obedience. Pray and don’t worry about tomorrow. Accept this like Saint Padre Pio.

  37. Obedience, obedience, obedience… It’s true for religious congregations as well as diocesan priests.

    I remember reading something about the Heavenly Father was more pleased about Jesus obedience during His hidden life than if Jesus had performed miracles.

    Let’s pray for the Bishop Zurek, Father Pavone and the laity.

  38. augustinehippo, though not listed on the organization’s website, Fr Frank Pavone, by his own admission, serves on the Board of the Center for Bioethical Reform. Don’t think for a second he isn’t aware of and endorsing, if not directing, the CBR’s activities in Amarillo. I believe that he believes he is doing the right thing . . . but I don’t agree. I also think it is at least as likely that PFL was responsible for leaking the bishop’s letter as it was for someone connected with Bishop Zurek to have done so.

    Still waiting for answers to the key questions: (1) When will PFL and its interrelated organizations comply with federal tax law and file the missing 990s so donors may see where their money goes? (2) What is the canonical status of Priests for Life and the “international private association of the faithful,” the Gospel of Life Association, that Fr Pavone now claims “is guided by special bylaws that express the cohesion of the ministries as a family of believers.” Where are these bylaws? Which competent episcopal authority has reviewed them–the minimal canonical standard for a private association of the faithful to be anything more authoritative than a bunch of friends who get together for lunch once in a while? Fr Pavone insists he has answered all questions, but these remain.

  39. My monthly donation to PFL will be doubled from now on.

  40. D.L. Hoskins says:

    My problem with Priests for Life is their inefficient fund raising techniques. I sent a $50 donation to them about 3 years ago. Since then, they have “harassed” me fore additional donations…I sometimes have received 3 solicitations in one week! A week has not went by without recieving a solicitation. They have spent much more than $50 trying to get me to donate again. If these marketing / business practices are typical, the Bishop has every right to step in to correct these “fly by the seat of our pants” practices.

  41. Richard W Comerford says:

    Re: On Canon Law & Common Sense

    “The bishop’s statement was not, as has been alleged, released to the public venue. It was sent as a confidential statement to other bishop’s of the USA, informing them in advance that Fr. Pavone’s permission to minister outside of his home diocese was being revoked.”

    The good Bishop sent his letter to 195 Chanceries in the USA. It was not marked “confidential”. No request to protect the good names of either Father P or PFL was included in or with the letter by the good Bishop.

    “However, this matter is PRIVATE and should not, from the very start, have been posted all over the internet.”

    In his letter the good Bishop asked his 195 brother Bishops to advise their flocks not to contribute to PFL. In so doing the good Bishop managed to involve every Catholic in the USA in this matter.

    “Hopefully this matter will quietly be resolved, but should not be conducted in front of public media.”

    Yes. Silence and secrecy have served the Bishops well so far especially with the Great Scandal.

    The Holy Father is right. He has repeatedly told us that we need less structure, less bureaucracy, fewer” professional Catholics” and more Holy Spirit.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  42. John B:
    As great obedience is, before you are about to give your opinion, think about what you will say first. St. Padre Pio was in a totally different situation. He was in an order and he spent most of his day hearing confessions. He was a mystic and had the stigmata. Fr Pavone on the other hand is in charge of a large pro-life organization. He is out in the world trying to manage a business and stop an evil. Yes, they are both priests, and yes, obedience is required, but no, not every situation requires silent obedience to the bishops/superiors.

  43. Geoffery Williams says:

    In the story above: “This is not how the Holy Spirit works. He unites. He does not divide.”

    This true, however, when you have a bunch of liberals who are determined to have their way, women priests, no celibacy- etc, you are going to have division-It is their own fault! Quit blaming those who have the guts to stand up for The Churches Teachings, what it has ALWAYS TAUGHT, against those who are more interested in what they want rather than what is right-

    Liberals? THAT is disgusting

  44. augustinehippo says:

    jkm, In response to my previous email you begin by stating facts that even Fr.Pavone admits.Then you begin to not state facts but only suspicions.You wrote the following:augustinehippo, though not listed on the organization’s website, Fr Frank Pavone, by his own admission, serves on the Board of the Center for Bioethical Reform. Don’t think for a second he isn’t aware of and endorsing, if not directing, the CBR’s activities in Amarillo.jKm, Your last sentence is not a fact but a suspicion.This is casting aspersions on Father’s moral character.I’ve never been a Pavone groupie and never sent him a dime. However I don’t feel comfortable standing by and watching a man’s character being destroyed because of an imprudent letter from his bishop that contains over heated language.

  45. Geoffrey,

    With all due respect, I believe that the first part of your statement didn’t post, leaving the latter part about liberals and women’s ordination appearing to be something of a non sequitur in light of the discussion about Father Pavone.

    Perhaps you can relate the two for us.

  46. Geoffrey
    I am not sure what liberals have to do with the “issues” surrounding Father Pavone. Even though Dr. Nadal suggests that something is missing – I have no idea how a bishop exercising his duties is a liberal attack on anything. I think that suggesting that people other than those directly involved are causing an issue is counter-productive and creates the me against the world syndrome that seems to populate the comboxes, especially when none of us have the “whole story”.
    In general I am tired of the attacks against bishops, priests and those with whom we disagree. None of us are above error nor are any of us benefitting from this. Perhaps we need to trust the Lord and let Him worry about the outcome, and we should worry about what we can control – our own behaviors.

  47. it is not only a matter of obedience but humility and prayer first of all; Fr Pavone is primarily a servant of god, and no servant of God is indispensable, no matter how successful the organization he is running, whether it be a hospital, school, parish, pro-life group, etc. If his superior is giving him a different assigment, after communicating his concerns in a personal manner, he must humbly obey first, then bring his concerns to a higher forum if he disagrees with the verdict

  48. Richard W Comerford says:

    Question: Does the Catholic Church Allow American Priests to Exercise Their First Amendment Right to Free Speech?

    Answer: Yes

    Indeed it was not too long ago that another celebrity priest stood outside of a gun store at the head of a mob and in street jargon called for the murder of the store owner. And what did his Archbishop do? Nothing.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  49. The evidence for bearing fruit and for “knowing them by their fruit” certainly has favored and advantaged Father Pavone, by way of the national media spotlight on his many loving and publically known good works, and the image of him lingers, still, in the eye of the public seeing him stand with the Schiavo’s as they were losing the battle for life for their daughter and sister, at a time when many in high places did not. Now comes Bishop Zurick, in an entirely different position as he is a Bishop, whose fruits are not so publically known nationally, nor lauded by other faith communities, nor exposed by the bright media spotlight. He is somewhat disadvantaged as his good works surely occur outside of a national fan base, if you will, and outside the lime light, but in silence, and seen by no one. We will never quite see who, what or where the Bishop sustains the flock by his more obscured good works as both a Bishop and as a man. The Bishop is not accused of leaking his own memo to brother Bishops, but suffers from the fact that it was leaked. His choice of a couple of words or phrases in his memo do reveal his human frustrations with Father Pavone, and those words have been cited as his only error regarding the memo. Regrettably both men differ on duty and oversight and are suffering with righteous indignation because of these differences. It will take time to sort through to a just outcome.

  50. Re: Does the Church Appoint Stupid Bishops?

    “The Bishop is not accused of leaking his own memo to brother Bishops, but suffers from the fact that it was leaked.”

    The good Bishop must be obeyed. But when the good Bishop sent his infamous letter to 195 Chanceries he knew that as a minimum that 195 Chancellors and 195 Bishops would see it. Did he actually think that 390 people could keep a secret? Especially when he made no mention of confidentiality in his letter; but quite the contrary, asked bis brother Bishops to advise their flocks not to contribute to PFL?

    Perhaps the good Bishop is an idiot? Or perhaps the good Bishop just behaved badly?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  51. Re: Josephine #49

    I have to confess, I totally forgot that Fr. Pavone tried to intervene in the Terry Schiavo case. I am not all that surprised he did; nor am I surprised that nothing he actually did in that case had an impact on its final outcome.

    What did come out of it was a comprehensive legal analysis of the entire case: Lois Shepherd: “If That Ever Happens to me: Life and Death Decisions after Terry Schiavo” (Univ. North Carolina Press) [ISBN: 978-0-8078-3295-0)

    Not sure I agree with all of her conclusions but it raises some serious issues as to whether our U. S. Constitution handles the notion of “persistent vegetative state” very well.

    And it also subtly raises the serious issue of whether the Catholic Medical Ethics test of “extraordinary means” was violated by her parents.

  52. Various comments on several posts have suggested that Satan is behind the restrictions currently in force on Father Pavone (and in various other acts of bishops in recent years).

    If Satan has a purpose in all of this, it is to divide members of the flock from their divinely appointed shepherds. If Satan is enjoying any success, it is in the rejection of the bishops’ authority by many Catholics.

    JMO

  53. Obviously in the Schiavo case she was starved to death because her husband did not desire her to survive in a persistent vegetative state. Since the tube feeds were not burdensome in this case, discontinuing them would seem to be euthanasia, ie they were ordinary means. They would need to be ineffective or burdensome to be extraordinary. If anyone is in violation of Catholic Medical Ethics it was her husband. This is hardly subtle.

    But we are getting far afield from Poor Fr. Pavone. The bottom line for all this is that there are limits to the authority of the Bishops ( for example A Bishop can not command you to say shoot some one..) He can not licitly command you to remain silent about the abuse of a minor.. So we all agree the Bishops authority ends where it conflicts with the natural law. His Wisdom ends even sooner. Bishops can and historically have made all kinds of blunders. ( How many bankrupt dioceses post abuse crisis do we need to confirm this point?)

    Bishop Zurek has canon law authority to make Fr. Pavone return to Amarillo. It would seem Fr. Pavone has obeyed the Bishop, so end of story there. If Fr. Pavone thinks this is a foolish decision that will hurt the pro-life cause he has every right and even a duty to diminish the harm to priests for Life by protesting. After all Fr. Pavone is trying to stop legalized murder ( that is what John Paul II called abortion in Evangelium Vitae,) Or as Vatican II put it an “unspeakable crime”. Now… If I am engaged in efforts to stop mass murder and unspeakable crimes and the Bishop does stuff to make it harder for me to fight against the mass murder, and unspeakable crime, well its not immediately obvious to me that my first concern is about “obedience” Maybe trying to stop the murders should get some thought too.

    At the end of the day if you believe Vatican II and John Paul II, that what abortion is about is murder, unspeakable crime etc.. then Bishop Zurek should have handled whatever issues he has with Fr. Pavone differently. If on the other hand you reject Vatican II and John Paul II’s view of abortion, well than you can prattle on about these secondary issues of obedience, and compare Fr. Pavone to Padre Pio ( A monk for Gods sake!!) And on and on.

    Bottom line I prefer the way Fr. Pavone fights to end the “unspeakable crime” to the very limp efforts by the bulk of the US Bishops in this regard.. and I am not all that moved about arguments re “obedience. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. The people who are so exorcised about Fr. Pavone remind me of the Pharisees who criticized Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. There are more concerned with the nuances of the law ( in this case Canon law) than the reality of the life and death moral stuggle with a grave evil that the Pro-life movement is.

  54. Re: On Authority

    “it is in the rejection of the bishops’ authority by many Catholics.”

    Or, more accurately it is the desire of many American Catholics (along with the Vicar of Christ) for the American Bishops to exercise their lawful authority particularly in regards to human life. The American Bishops, in the main, have rejected Pope Paul’s Encyclical Humanae Vitae. When was the last time anyone head their Bishop publicly condemning the evil known as artificial contraception?

    Yet we have one good Bishop currently asking his 195 fellow Bishops to advise their flocks not to contribute to a pro-life organization. As the good Bishop has no legal authority over the pro-life organization in question some would argue that this is an exercise of power – not authority.

    There are limits to a Bishop’s just authority. The Catholic Church is not the Waffen SS.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  55. Obviouly the satanic liberal cabal is behind the whole thing. Hidden inside a bust of Millard Fillmore, Obama has a secret purple phone that can immediately reach any bishop in the USCCB. Clearly the Kenyan pretender called Zurek and ordered him: “Reign in this Pavone, my approval ratings are too low.” If you doubt this you are hopelessly naive or a liberal yourself.

  56. With regard to Richard’s comment, no. 54, yes the Pope is THE Vicar of Christ, but the Second Vatican Council and the 1983 Code of Canon Law instruct that each bishop is rightly A VICAR OF CHRIST. Your condemnation of “bishops” in general in the USA is merely sweeping with a broad brush. The bishop “in question” may have no authority over Priests for Life, however as a Vicar of Christ he has not only the right but the obligation to sound an alarm when he sees something questionable. His stated desire is for Fr. Pavone to return to his “home” diocese, so as to more greatly dialogue and disclose to legitimate authority the goings-on of Priests for Life. There is nothing wrong is putting something to the test. There have been alarming sounds made for almost a decade about the organization and Fr. Pavone’s business tactics. The Bishop “in question” decided to get to the heart of the matter, and finally resolve these questions, for in fact he had the authority over Fr. Pavone and by extension, a measure of oversight over any activities exercised by Fr. Pavone as a priest of that diocese. The bishop’s actions have obviously been unpopular to many, however, this is a legitimate exercise of authority and aimed toward appropriate means. How this stretches to a condemnation of “all” bishops is unrealistic. Such is merely an argument ad hominen. The bishop did nothing “wrong” and Fr. Pavone hopefully has done nothing wrong. However, the bishop has the responsibility to find out. There has been much smoke about Fr. Pavone for some time, the very fact that he has “jumped” from diocese to diocese lends credence to the concerns. The question is: Where there is smoke, is there any fire? Better for the Bishop and Fr. Pavone to meet now and settle this, than to let it continue to fester and later become an even greater debacle.

  57. Richard posts here are well done and raise significant questions not being addressed by those screaming for the priest to obey and shut up. It is obvious in this case, the Bishop made some very big errors and in doing so, trashed the name of this priest and PFL ability to fulfill its mission at the same time.

    It would be interesting to see how those who are yelling obey and shut up would do if they were attacked in the same way. As Richard says, priests have some rights left in America and in canon law. I would like to see where specifically Father Pavone has not obeyed…he is in Texas and where the Bishop has the right to state he is “suspended” without being accused of anything, I would assume he has the right to appeal to Rome and to voice his innocence.

    So yes, he is using the first amendment rights of free speech which as Richard states he still has and is answering questions. The Diocese is not doing anyone favors by remaining silent other than their horrible actions in the first place and follow on releases which only made the issue worse.

    Rather than bang away sreams of obedience, I would like to see where he has not been obedient or is doing something that is a crime or against canon law. We wonder why someone thinks twice about a call to the priesthood and then he see Catholic blogs come down with both feet on priests before there is a conviction with a cheering section in the com boxes also without any facts or guilt or even naming the specific crime.

  58. I suggest that folks would do well to read the reviews, commentary given by Dr. Edward Peters, a canon lawyer, on this unfolding public story. There is so much diatribe going on in this matter that it is sad. Sound reason has gone out the door, along with a true understanding of Catholic ecclesiology.

  59. Greta,

    “Rather than bang away sreams of obedience, I would like to see where he has not been obedient or is doing something that is a crime or against canon law. We wonder why someone thinks twice about a call to the priesthood and then he see Catholic blogs come down with both feet on priests before there is a conviction with a cheering section in the com boxes also without any facts or guilt or even naming the specific crime.”
    That is a complete red herring. A bishop’s authority does not go only to priests who have committed crimes. And we can criticize people for actions that are not crimes. Besides, if we were to apply your standard of “Criticize no one unless he has at least been accused of a crime,” then nobody should be saying anything critical of Bishop Zurek.

    My problem at this point with Fr. Pavone is that he seems too full of himself. Others, especially Ed Peters, have pointed out some of the over the top things he has said. But he has fulfilled at least the letter of the law in returning to Amarillo. His unhinged supporters are far worse in fantasizing that some gross injustice is being done to him, in libeling the bishop, in confabulating conspiracy theories, and in using unseemly pressure tactics.

  60. And another thing, there is a sort of “necessity defense” which Fr. Pavone and his followers use to suggest that his work should not be hindered by obedience to his bishop — he has to continue “stopping abortion.” But his work of stopping abortion is only indirect. If he were removing women from abortion mills that would be stopping abortion. What he does is try to persuade people against abortion, which is good, but it is only “remote” rather than “proximate” and “formal” rather than “material.” So the rhetoric about stopping abortion being more important than obedience is really beside the point and misleading.

  61. augustinehippo says:

    Greta, I second that motion. Thanks

  62. James Madison says:

    Comment 57, Greta, what does free speech have to do with this situation at all? The 1st amendment protects citizens from GOVERNMENT interference with free speech. His right to free speech is not curtailed by the church, no matter what they do to him.

  63. 16 Gerard Nadal
    Vero1956,

    There is no good way that Bishop Zurek could have recalled Father Pavone without raising suspicions. Suppose he had simply demanded his return to Amarillo
    _________________________________________

    What is it with these clerical knee jerk reactions of over the top defenses of this bishop’s, not only imprudent, personal public detraction of one of his priests before all other bishops, but suggesting too that there simply was no other way of relating these “feelings of concern” to Fr. Pavone???? Such an arrogant report without facts and with incorrect judgements is then followed by non-accountability within his position to even be there to responsibly explain such a public display of authority when his priest in question returns in obedience. All this “bishop vs priest”…well the bishop IS a priest only with more expectations since his agreement to such a position of loving authority over others – to what should be acknowledged as agreeing to even martyrdom….ha!

    I read Ed Peters ongoing, seemingly adinfinitum analyses of this whole tempest created by this rather strange, RENEW promoting type of a bishop, with the very facts of law stating Fr. Pavone has every right to protest using canon law; that he was right to immediately obey and arrive back to the diocese; that the bishop was in error (I would say grave error) re: his public accusation of “suspension” against a priest, causing scandal and reputation disgrace, without stating any basis in facts proven, etc. – and yet, with him and with seemingly most others of the expected judgemental crew of Catholic elitists without the facts as yet, the summation is that it’s somehow all Fr. Pavone’s fault and he just doesn’t fulfill some ideal of obedience – even when it comes to choosing to continue fighting the greatest holocaust and that which is most grievous to heaven (as all priests should be doing within their particular capacities), bringing about worldwide purificationa for the justice demanded by the blood spent! All the quaint little priggish commentary can’t justify that kind of reluctance by so many bishops to face those facts of horror attempting to be fought valiantly by Priests for Life and Fr. Pavone. And those snide little comments from the peanut gallery: “Fr. Pavone isn’t Priests for Life”. He never said he was….but he will defend against those who even unwittingly work to disrupt such labors esp. on such a shallow basis of “correcting the books” re: the filthy lucre of mammon only concern. Shame.

    Now, as is the usual modus operandi of Mark Shea extremism, Fr. Pavone is “destroying” all the good work he’s done for years. I confidently doubt that those babies of all these years saved and living lives today on this earth, as well as those dead being remembered by the actions taken for some of their little brothers and sisters buried with human dignity, the mothers released from suicidal guilt, the abortionists converted by his concern and priestly counsel, the clinic workers convinced of the evil done, the former promoters for PP changed, and the ongoing work to overturn Roe (iow, the saving of so many from eternal damnation) would quite agree with such glib pronouncements by the loud mouths assuming Catholic judgement over others. Shame!

    Discernment ought to be in the direction of the gravest concerns of the Church in obedience to heaven in these times or we’ll continue to read more stories of more bishops halting the truth (as recently in Canada was done to an elderly faithful priest who was removed due to his lack of “pastoral” approach when calling sinners to face the real truths of the Church) from being shouted in not only the public square but even within the walls of the sacred Catholic churches. May John the Baptist come to our aid today.

  64. Re: On Bishops and Vicars

    “the Second Vatican Council and the 1983 Code of Canon Law instruct that each bishop is rightly A VICAR OF CHRIST”

    Vicar means representative. All Christians are His vicars.

    “Your condemnation of “bishops” in general in the USA is merely sweeping with a broad brush”

    Since 1968 out of the 195 Ordinaries in the USA I can only think of one who stood in the pulpit of his Cathedral and condemned artificial contraception as intrinsically evil. This is a massive failure on the part of the American Bishops.

    “a Vicar of Christ he has not only the right but the obligation to sound an alarm when he sees something questionable.”

    No. If the good Bishop has evidence of theft at PFL then he is obliged to submit said evidence to the secular authorizes; and await their findings. Gossip does not count.

    “he had the authority over Fr. Pavone and by extension, a measure of oversight over any activities exercised by Fr. Pavone as a priest of that diocese.”

    No. That is quite wrong. And it is unworkable. The good Bishop must answer to God for the souls of his priests but he has no authority over people and things his priest might associate with.

    “The bishop did nothing “wrong”.”

    The good Bishop made an un-canonical suspension of Fr P. He announced it to 195 chanceries and in so doing not only destroyed the good name of Fr. P. but PFL and its staff, advisers, directors and supporters. HE did so without any finding of wrong doing on behalf of Fr. P, PFL, its staff and advisers by secular authorities.

    “How this stretches to a condemnation of “all” bishops is unrealistic.”

    You may not have noticed but for the past 50-years our Bishops, in the main, have sacrificed innocents to the lusts of predatory priests. It is time for our Bishops to start acting like Shepherds and not managers.

    “Better for the Bishop and Fr. Pavone to meet now and settle this”

    No. Better that Fr. P. obey his Bishop and the good Bishop act with justice and charity.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  65. Again, very poor understanding of Catholic ecclesiology being professed in some of these comments. To be a Catholic in full communion means adhering to 3 items: profession of faith (the Creed), acceptance of the sacraments, and acceptance of the hierarchical constitution of the Church. The hierarchical constitution of the Church is held to be of divine origin. The bishop has his role, the priest has his role, the lay person has his/her role. The Pope is THE VICAR. The Bishop is A VICAR of Christ. The priest works as alter Christus. The laity are not “vicars” of Christ. That is Protestanism full fledged, which is in error. Laity are to live out their baptismal call, which has a missionary, evangelical zeal. But the term VICAR is very specific in its meaning and usage. To not accept the hierarchial structure of the Church opens one to question about true understanding of the Catholic faith. Hence, one in such a position is to be admonished to understand correctly, and after explanation, if still holding to erroneous understandings and professing erroneous understandings, one is liable in law to a just punishment in the law. We are citizens of the USA and certain rights and privileges. In Church law we are members, and have rights and obligations. Don’t confuse the USA right to “free speech” with Church laws. Yes, just because one “can” does not mean that one “should.” Fr. Pavone could and did speak on radio giving interviews of recent. That was well within his liberties as a citizen of the USA. Should he have done so? I suspect not, from the standpoint of trying to take recourse action to Rome. On radio, in public venue, he espoused notions of ecclesiology that are very disturbing – basically equating his “ministry” with a universal call that requires no obedience to any authority on earth. That is very disturbing, and only bolsters the argument of the bishop that he has to address the notions being put forth by a priest under his direct control, in that Fr. Pavone is incardinated in the diocese. The bishop DOES BY LAW have to exercise oversight of Fr. Pavone in every ministerial aspect of his life, whether in the diocese or outside of that diocese. That is the Bishop’s responsibility and his absolute duty. And the bishop had to take action in the case of a person who is so public in his ministry, beyond the borders of his home diocese. To state that “only one” bishops has stood in the pulpit of his Cathedral and condemned artificial contraception is a limited fact – to the memory of one person. And from that one person’s viewpoint, all the US Bishops are condemned for laxity in the view of one person? I have had the joyous experience of being in Washington, DC and witnessing prof-life Masses and marches, annually, attending by scores of USA bishops and Cardinals, who genuinely put their boots to the ground as Shepherds of the Church. I fear “zeal” for the person of Fr. Pavone has caused irrational blindness in the light of the issues which are at hand.

  66. 65 Jim

    On radio, in public venue, he espoused notions of ecclesiology that are very disturbing – basically equating his “ministry” with a universal call that requires no obedience to any authority on earth.
    _________________________________________

    If that’s the case then Fr. Pavone simply would not have obediently returned to Amarillo as requested…even to circumstances where his “new duties” were not specified and where the requesting authority for such obedience is nowhere to be found nor did he respectfully charge another with such expected “orders”. Realizing that during this rather mysterious limbo time the public may have a misunderstanding of just where Priests for Life may stand under Church auspices he accountably attempts to relieve any withholding of support for the important cause that could result from the unanswered confusion – esp. when all bishops were notified via erroneous information. Right now the question looms as to whether a particular priest will be separated from a now international movement that has certainly developed from grassroots via his efforts. Since its pastorship is not within the boundaries of Amarillo it can certainly continue but is such a decision warranted or just or even necessary – esp. when there are provisions for a more just solution….simply get the questions of organization resolved and let things continue without personally attacking one who up til now was not restrained in the necessary work as understood was producing good fruits.

    Peter and Paul!

  67. Re: On Bishops and Law

    “The bishop DOES BY LAW have to exercise oversight of Fr. Pavone in every ministerial aspect of his life, whether in the diocese or outside of that diocese.”

    The good Bishop does not have authority over PFL, or its employees, advocators or directors or supporters.

    “To state that “only one” bishops has stood in the pulpit of his Cathedral and condemned artificial contraception is a limited fact – to the memory of one person.”

    Artificial contraception is the root cause oif abortion and the other evils afflicting our society. See Humanae Vitae.

    “And from that one person’s viewpoint, all the US Bishops are condemned for laxity in the view of one person?”

    One person and every Pope Since Blessed John XXIII.

    “I have had the joyous experience of being in Washington, DC and witnessing prof-life Masses and marches, annually, attending by scores of USA bishops and Cardinals, who genuinely put their boots to the ground as Shepherds of the Church.”

    Has not done much good has it? And it won’t until our Bishops find some guts and condemn artificial contraception.

    “I fear “zeal” for the person of Fr. Pavone has caused irrational blindness”

    Or maybe its zeal for our Father’s house. Celebrity priests come and go. The Faith does not need them. But if our Bishops are not good shepherds then our local Churches are sunk.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  68. Again I feel compelled to point out that Fr Pavone is not the center of the pro-life movement. It is dangerous to proclaim, as some of Fr’s fans do, that he alone has done so much to stop abortion in America. That he is the centerpiece of any success that the movement is having!

    I have so much respect for any priest that compassionately and wisely speaks out at Mass for the unborn. Thankfully, I have been blessed to know many such men in my travels. I know they do what they can for Life because it is right, and not for any fame, but they don’t get the public pat on the back that Fr Frank has recieved. Rather, I have personally heard Fr Frank refer to these, his brother priests, as those who do pro-life work “as a hobby”!

    I am a small part of the larger pro-life movement, working in my state right to life group and my parish, trying to do what any of us can to be a part of the answer. It is what all of us are called to in our station of life as Americans. Fr’s station is as a diocesen priest with all that that entails. (thank you Dr Peters for the thoughtful discorse on that point)

    I am hopeful that Fr Pavone will show true concern for the pro-life cause and admit that he is not unique in the call to serve the cause of life, that he can and will graciously learn to do his work for life where he is placed even if it means he is in a small parish in Amarilo! Who know’s, maybe he will meet and inspire the next great leader in that setting!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X