In the mail this morning: "I'm writing on behalf of Father Frank…"

A colleague at work passed along an interesting and especially timely email he got this morning.  It’s dated yesterday and comes from Priests for Life.  Some of you may have gotten it as well.

It begins:

I’m writing on behalf of Father Frank [Pavone].

My name is Jerry Horn and I am the Senior Vice President for Priests for Life…

…Let me tell you why Father asked me to send you this email.

On Wednesday, October 5, Priests for Life will mark its 20th Anniversary with a Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco.  The Most Reverend George Niederauer, the Archbishop of San Francisco, has enthusiastically agreed [to] be the main celebrant for the 6:00 p.m. Mass.  His support reflects that of many bishops.

Father Frank had intended to write to you himself and invite you to join us for the Mass, but time simply got away from him.  In fact, he just finished taping the “Defending Life” series of TV shows at EWTN, and is now at his diocese in Amarillo.

So he asked me to write to you in his place.

It goes on to celebrate the great work of  Fr. Pavone for a couple more pages.  It also asks for a donation so they can present him with a sizable check at the anniversary Mass, to keep the PFL’s “important projects and programs going full-speed ahead.”

There’s no mention of yesterday’s big news.

UPDATE: Canon lawyer Ed Peters looks at the dispute between Fr. Pavone and his bishop and offers his analysis.


  1. There’s no mention, either, of the fact that Archbishop Niederauer has been hospitalized, has undergone heart surgery, and has submitted his letter of resignation to the Holy Father.

    This sounds like your standard fundraising letter, which was prepared weeks ago, sent to the printer or to an outside agency, and bulk mailed. It and Bishop Zurek’s letter probably crossed in the mail.

    Unfortunate all the way around.

  2. Kathy, it was an email blast–able to be edited right up to the point of pushing Send. I think it was edited (to put the message in Jerry Horn’s mouth, in light of some uncertainty about Fr Frank’s status).

    The interesting thing to me about this story is what it has unearthed about PFL’s (or its agent’s) superaggressive fundraising tactics. Many of the comments on the Anchoress’s original post address this. As someone who works in this area occasionally, I have to admit I was astonished at some of the ploys–sending appeals by registered mail, so the recipient has to sign for it, sending multiple eblasts in one week or even one day, charging excessive s&h for “free” promotion items, etc. These techniques do work, but there is a point of diminishing returns. Perhaps in addition to whatever other administrative issues need to be worked out, there have been complaints about these tactics.

  3. Reminder everybody every time men screw up: The Catholic Church will endure to the end of time, for it is founded on a rock. The powers of evil will beat in vain against it. They will break themselves and perish, but the Church will remain, indefectible. The testimony of almost two thousand years proves the perpetuity of the Church. Nothing that malice and envy could invent; nothing that the world, the flesh; and the devil could do have been left untried in the past 1900 years. Still the Church is with us, exactly as Christ founded it, and stronger than ever.

  4. Roger Conley says:

    Mr. Kandra has picked his side. When you read what he says in the future you should always remember which side he took.

    [Roger: you have no idea what you're talking about. And it's Deacon Kandra, just like it's Father Pavone. -- Ed.]

  5. Lets see, the complaint is that PFL is too agressive in trying to get funds to fight the holocaust of 54 million babies with 4000 more a day being butchered. Is that what has people upset? I think the bigger question is how much you have donated to help support their efforts? At the end of time, when we face Christ and behind him is the millions of little children killed, I would expect Christ to ask what you did to end this holocaust. Father Pavone will met his maker with a very good dedicated life of trying to end this. Some will have to explain why they chose to vote for Obama knowing him to be the most pro abortion candidate ever and that the Church told them that voting for a pro abort meant they had to find a proportional reason.

    I hope PFL does not lose a beat with this latest attack of Satan on its efforts. I am not saying anything about the Bishop for he could well be hearing lies or someone at PFL could have been doing something wrong driven by Satan. Of one thing we can be sure, when abortion is the topic, Satan is close by. When attacks on the family are present and some are saying two dadies is equal to one man and one woman in marriage, Satan is close by and very active. People today do not want to hear about Satan and may even want to pretend he is not there and only some myth. If you are in that mix, then you must never say you think Christ is the son of man, the Son of God, and our Savior for he clearly spoke of Satan and even allowed us to see in the gospel Satan at work. If there is no Satan, Jesus could not have said what he did and be God.

    I know on my part, I sent PFL the largest check I have ever sent to any organization today in the name of Father Pavone and urged them to continue their wonderful work.

  6. Roger Conley says:

    “Ed.”: I really think Rev. Mr, Kandra has picked his side.

    Greta, God bless you.

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