Thoughts on Fr. Pavone

Combox Warriors are applying all their ingenuity to smoking out the *real* reason that the Bp. of Amarillo has asked Fr. Pavone to curtail his fundraising and travel and take some time for prayer and reflection. It is not, of course, because it’s possible the bishop actually thinks that Fr. Pavone has let social activism take priority over his priesthood and he needs to dial back and take a look at his priorities. No. That’s far too reasonable. Ed Peters is barking nuts (or a covert enemy of the prolife movement who thirsts for the blood of babies) to say:

This petulant ‘tweet’ from Fr. Pavone confirms, I suggest, the concerns many have expressed regarding the adversative stance that Pavone is publicly showing toward lawful ecclesiastical authority. I’ll just say (at the risk of pointing out the obvious) that Congress’ interpretation of the rules of military conduct as they apply to soldiers under heavy enemy fire sheds little light on the degree of compliance expected of diocesan priests when they receive lawful episcopal directives.

No. Here’s the *real* lowdown from a combox warrior whose mystic arts enable him to read hearts and minds, as distinct from words:

I suspect that this is politically driven–any pro-life cause is an embarrassment to the president–and many bishops support his immigration policies. In fact, I think this is an attempt to discredit pro-life priests to further the cause of illegal immigration.

Yeah. That’s it. The nefarious Obama, in league with a shadowy cabal of bishops is working behind the scenes with Bp. Zurek to enact illegal immigration policies and Fr. Pavone is, um, standing in the way of that by, er, doing something or other that threatens illegal immigration.

Anyway, it’s a plot. It’s all a plot and Bp. Zurek is evil because paranoids know that everything is a plot and reasonable explanations for things are never sufficient particularly when it involves a favorite folk hero.

Me: I think Fr. Pavone is one of those full throttle dedicated Type A guys who has poured heart and soul into his great and worthy project with every good will and all sincerity and is now faced with the possibility that he has created an idol when he set out to do a good work. I can empathize, but I think the bishop is right that he needs to dial back and trust God to carry on the fight while he rethinks his priorities. I pray he can pass this hard test. People like Steve Kellmeyer who are treating Fr. Pavone with contempt over this are being cruel and heartless, I think. (Kellmeyer: “I firmly believe Fr. Pavone is money grubbing worm.”) That is stunningly ungrateful for Fr. Pavone’s long years of sincere service (years in sharp contrast to the BS Dawg’s years of self-aggrandizing lies and fraud). God help such nasty folk as Kellmeyer when they need a little sympathy and support at the hour they have to die to something beautiful, good, and precious as a sacrifice to God. May God grant Kellmeyer a heart capable of feeling pity for somebody besides himself. Fr. Pavone’s in a real struggle to do something that is not done in a moment and seldom done perfectly by any of us. Fr. Pavone has, albeit reluctantly and imperfectly, obeyed his bishop thus far while watching in fear as a genuinely good work he has labored to build for years is threatened with disaster. I give him serious points for that obedience in the face of such fear. At this stage, the BS Dawg was ditching his vows and spitting on his ordination with a “20th Anniversary of My Priesthood Fire Sale” trying to sell as much junk as he could to as many suckers as possible before attempting to re-invent himself as a Protestant Pastor for the Talk Radio Right, all while slandering his bishop as a blackmailer.

I think that contrast is pretty stark. Fr. Corapi is a bad man in crisis and looking out for Numero Uno, even if it means betraying his vows, his flock, and his God. Fr. Pavone is a good man in crisis and trying, with stumbling steps like the rest of us, to be faithful in difficult circumstances. Right now, he sound for all the world like somebody going through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance–the five stages of dying. You try to do it gracefully and see how you do. Give him credit for that and be grateful for his hard work. Don’t bayonet him for failing to be perfect.

So, I continue to pray for Fr. Pavone and Bp. Zurek, good men in a hard trial. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpeneth another. – Proverbs 27:17


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