A lot of people here and elsewhere have grabbed torches and pitchforks and are stalking off into the woods in search of Fr. Frank Pavone’s superior, Bishop Zurek. Dr. Gerard Nadal is trying to call them back:
I love the energy and focus that Father Pavone has brought to the pro-life movement. I love that he has embraced Silent No More, Rachel’s Vineyard, Gospel of Life Ministries, the training of fellow priests, Alveda King and the National Black Pro-life Coalition, Bryan Kemper, Abby Johnson, etc. The man has done great good, and nobody can ever take that away from him.
This lashing out at the bishop is being watched by all of his brother bishops. I sincerely hope the shrill don’t really think that Father Pavone is worth the alienation, the impression that we’re a shadow church and that Father Pavone is our Pope. That’s a mighty big alienation of the bishops for one man.
It doesn’t do Father Pavone’s reputation a damned bit of good with the bishops, either. He looks like he has a rabid rabble for a following. It reflects poorly on him and on all of us.
The truth of the matter is that a leader inspires others to act. A good leader inspires others to act passionately. A great leader inspires others to act sacrificially, death to self.
What sort of leader does this invective make Father Pavone look like? If I were a bishop, looking at this invective, I’d be inclined to put him on ice for a few years.
The greatest testimony to a general is the ability of the army he has built to win the battle if he goes down in the line of fire. A great general builds an army that can act on its own in the heat of battle, adapt and overcome in the face of great challenge.
I think that’s the sort of movement that Father Pavone has created, one that can weather his absence as he tends to the relationship with his bishop.
It’s a very good, sensible post. Read it all.