Fr. Frank Pavone Facing Restrictions – UPDATED

Heard a few whispers about this the other day, but couldn’t mention it because I really didn’t know; seems the story is out:

Father Frank Pavone, one of the country’s most visible and vocal opponents of abortion, has been suspended from active ministry outside the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, over financial questions about the priest’s operation of Priests for Life.

The suspension was made public in a Sept. 13 letter from Amarillo Bishop Patrick J. Zurek to his fellow bishops across the country, but Father Pavone told Catholic News Service that he was returning to Amarillo and planned to continue functioning as a priest there.

“My decision is the result of deep concerns regarding his stewardship of the finances of the Priests for Life (PFL) organization,” Bishop Zurek wrote. “The PFL has become a business that is quite lucrative which provides Father Pavone with financial independence from all legitimate ecclesiastical oversight.”

Bishop Zurek said “persistent questions and concerns” from clergy and laity about how the millions of dollars in donations the organization has received are being spent led to the action.

MORE TO COME

To be clear, Pavone is still in active ministry within his own Diocese; there is not yet any clear accusation of wrong-doing, but who knows what will develop? Perhaps the bishop simply wants to keep his priest from falling into the same challenges and difficulties that can strain priestly perspective, as we’ve seen happen with other priests who have achieved a degree of fame, influence and independence.

We’ll watch the story, as ever, and reiterate (as ever) that we don’t actually know much.

And (as ever) pray for all priests as they face this challenging age, and especially Father Pavone and his bishop, in this issue.

UPDATE: Here is a copy of the bishop’s letter to his fellow bishops. And it is pretty strongly worded:

I have decided to suspend Father Frank A. Pavone from public ministry outside of the Diocese of Amarillo to take effect on September 13, 2011. For an indefinite period, I am withdrawing my permission to him to minister outside our diocese and am calling him back to spend time in prayer and reflection. My decision is the result of deep concerns regarding his stewardship of the finances of the Priest For Life (PFL) organization. The PFL has become a business that is quite lucrative which provides Father Pavone with financial independence from all legitimate ecclesiastical oversight. There have been persistent question and concerns by clergy and laity regarding the transactions of millions of dollars of donations to the PFL from whom the donors have a rightful expectation that the monies are being used prudently. These financial questions and concerns have persisted with no clear and adequate answers since the time when Father Pavone was under two previous bishop ordinaries. Since he has consistently refused to subject the PFL to a transparent and complete auditing of all expenditures, I have reasons to be alarmed at the potential financial scandal that might arise if it were the result of my failure to correct Father Pavone’s incorrigible defiance to my legitimate authority as his Bishop. Additionally, the PFL financial resources have afforded Father Pavone with a formidable civil and canonical counsel which he utilized to rebuff my every attempt at calling for financial transparency. Thus, my decision to intervene and to call him to accountability is meant to express the dire need to safeguard his priestly ministry to which I am obligated as his father and to help the Church avoid any scandal due to the national scope of the PFL’s work. At a certain point, for me to hold all this knowledge about the PFL and to turn a blind eye would increase my culpability and quote possibly amount to material cooperation.

Then, it starts to sound a little personal:

In his relationship to his bishop ordinaries, Father Pavone has gradually lost his need to show appropriate obedience to his Bishop. It seems that his fame has caused him to see priestly obedience as an inconvenience to his unique status and an obstacle to the possible international scope of his ministry. I would venture to say that the supreme importance that he has attributed to his PFL ministry and the reductionist attitude toward the diocesan priesthood has inflated his ego with a sense of self-importance and self-determination. This attitude has strained his relationship with me and has give me the impression that I cannot invoke obedience with him because he is famous. It is my desire to help him readjust his priestly bearing through spiritual and theological renewal in order to recapture that essential priestly hallmark of respect and obedience. It is also my desire to strengthen Father Pavone’s sense of communio sacramentalis with me so that he may be fortified with a healthy zeal to live in an authentic way his sacramental gift and mystery as a priest of Jesus Christ.

If you judged it to be prudent, I would like to ask that you would inform the Christian faithful under your care to consider withholding donations to the PFL until the issues and concerns are settled.

Taking this opportunity to express my esteem and to ask for your prayers, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Patrick J. Zurek, STL, DD
Bishop of Amarillo

Wow. I am so grateful the good Lord has given me a bit of a jaundiced eye and thus spared me the cross of admiring anyone too much (because I rarely get shocked by anything.) I imagine that if I was a “fan” of Pavone’s, I’d feel pretty upset right now (to see an admired priest under fire). And if I had donated to Priest for Life, my curiosity would be picqued.

UPDATE II: Pavone’s Official Statement: He’s clearly got a good canon lawyer, cuz he’s got the lingo:

[...]Now, although Bishop Zurek is my Ordinary, he is not the bishop of Priests for Life. Each of our staff priests has his own Ordinary, and the organization has an entire Board of Bishops. We keep them all informed of our activities, and of our financial audits.

I want to say very clearly that Priests for Life is above reproach in its financial management and the stewardship of the monies it receives from dedicated pro-lifers, raised primarily through direct mail at the grassroots level. To this end, Priests for Life has consistently provided every financial document requested by Bishop Zurek, including annual financial audits, quarterly reports, management documents—even entire check registers! Priests for Life has been completely transparent with Bishop Zurek and any other bishops who have requested information regarding our management and finances. Indeed, we have 21 bishops and cardinals who sit on our Advisory Board, and they are kept fully informed about our finances.

Therefore, in the interest of preserving my good reputation as well as protecting the valuable work done by the Priests for Life organization, I have begun a process of appeal to the Vatican. This process aims to correct any mistaken decisions of the bishop in my regard and to protect my commitment to full-time pro-life activity for my whole life. We are very confident that the Vatican will resolve this matter in a just and equitable fashion. Because of this confidence, we are not currently making any changes in any positions at Priests for Life, or in any of our projects and plans.

I also want to point out that, according to the canon law of the Catholic Church, because I have begun this process of appeal to Rome, the Bishop’s order that I return to Amarillo has been effectively suspended. Nevertheless, because of my great respect for this Bishop and my commitment to be fully obedient at all times, I am reporting to Amarillo this Tuesday, in hopes that I can sort this problem out with the Bishop in a mutually agreeable and amicable way.

Read the whole thing: “He is not the ordinary of Priests for Life.” And,

“I want to be clear that I do not harbor any ill will towards the Bishop of Amarillo, nor do I foster suspicions about his motives. I am merely confused by his actions. It is impossible for me to believe that there is no place in the Church for priests to exercise full-time ministry in the service of the unborn.”

Whooboy. “I do not foster suspicions about his motives.” Then why say that at all? Seems like a classic passive-aggressive move.

This is going to be interesting. These two men seem loaded for bear!

Over on Facebook a friend notes: Guidestar doesn’t have any Form 990s for Priests for Life. That could mean the organization is really bad at administration, right? PFL is apparently a $10 million operation.

UPDATE III: EWTN’s statement, which I found on a twitter feed(!):

“EWTN is aware of reports that Bishop Patrick Zurek of the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, has recalled Fr. Frank Pavone and restricted his faculties to function as a priest outside of that diocese. EWTN is in ongoing conversations with both the Diocese of Amarillo and Father Pavone to clarify the exact nature of the restrictions and their potential impact on EWTN’s ability to continue to air programming featuring Fr. Frank. ‘While these discussions are continuing, the network encourages our EWTN family to keep this matter in your prayers.”

I feel bad for EWTN — they’ve been going through a lot, lately. It sounds like they are in the dark and looking to see how all of this plays with their standing policies.

Prayers all around.

Full Disclosure: I once met Fr. Pavone after attending a “prolife” Mass. A mere handshake, and I’m sure he would not remember me, but my impression was that he was no glamor-puss; I somehow doubt we’ll see anything about an abuse of personal expenditures. I am betting this is more about a bishop going out of his way to insure proprieties are being seen to, than anything else. And maybe a little turf-warring. My gut is saying all of this will end up resolved in a positive way. But I am very sad to see another priest/bishop dust up, and pray for a speedy reconciliation of all of this.

I know nothing about this bishop; anyone know of him? What’s he like? I can’t tell how much of this is about concern for the organization and how much spills over into the personal. And neither can you! :-) We’ll have to just wait and see what develops.

I do worry about this troubling trend of celebrity-priests and all of the challenges that they encounter with that celebrity. A priest is a priest first, before he is an activist or a fundraiser or a speaker or an administrator. When that becomes disoriented or out of balance, it is a hairy thing, I think. Again, pray for all of our priests, and for this priest and his bishop.

FINAL UPDATE: David Gibson is covering the story in the WaPo, and this bit makes me wonder if — as with Corapi — a big part of this issue is about incardination:

Since taking charge of Priests for Life, Pavone has led something of a nomadic existence. He initially moved the organization’s headquarters from California to New York, where he was ordained a priest in 1988 by the late Cardinal John O’Connor.

Pavone reportedly had a falling out with O’Connor’s successor, Cardinal Edward Egan, and in 2005 he put himself under the jurisdiction of the Amarillo diocese, and moved some PFL operations there. In 2007, Pavone tried to establish his own religious order dedicated to the pro-life cause, but abandoned it for lack of recruits.

PFL’s offices are now based in Staten Island, N.Y., but Pavone remains a priest of the Amarillo diocese.

This post is becoming very long, so this will be my final update. If anything else shows up on the story it will be in a new post. Meanwhile, Max Lindenman has decided that Father Pavone is one cool cat!

And Deacon Greg has a post here

Related: Pavone on Terry Schiavo

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jasper

    NBW, I doubt it. Pro-life is right wing.

  • ThirstforTruth

    WOW! is right, Anchoress! Is this Bishop mad or what? I don’t know about Amarillo but in my diocese NOTHING is ever transparent. We throw the $$ in the basket every
    Sunday…and no one EVER tells us what and where it goes!
    But I have yet to know of a single Bishop ( we have had afew) call out his priests to be more transparent about the parish finances. Maybe we are just unique in that the subject of transparency has been swept under the proverbial rug like forever. To me it is the pot calling the kettle black…but what do I know…or what does anyone know for that matter as to what goes on financially in the Church! I just am not going to get ruffled over one more priest scandal…I cannot! My faith is more important to me than succumbing to still another brouhaha in the hierarchial stratosphere. But I am sure going to be more careful with my $$$ for charities. Where was good Bishop of Amarillo when the USCCB was funding Acorn? Where was the transparency then?

  • Steve From Long Island

    I must agree with Paul Sarbaugh. I immediately saw what he means as I read your post about Father Pavone, which brought back the memories of how this blog and this site drew those who were so quick to condemn and excoriate Father Corapi.

    I detest any attacks on either of these men.

    But the double standard is glaringly obvious.

  • Brad

    I think that many of us who are Americans think that obedience is an optional thing because we have so much freedom here in the USA. But for a cleric (deacon, priest or bishop) at their ordination they place their hands in the hands of the bishop who is ordaining them and are asked “Do you promise respect and obedience to me (or to your Ordinary in the case of a religious order priest) and my successors?” And the candidate says “I do.” (For a Bishop he signs a document that states he will be loyal and faithful to the Holy Father). Plus prior to ordination, every seminarian and prior to the Installation of a Pastor, they must take the oath of orthodoxy binding them to all truths, revealed and unrevealed, as given by the magesterium as well as obedience to their Ordinary once again.

    So this idea that a cleric has “freedom to do what he wants and where he wants” is a foreign concept in the Church. That is why I think many lay people have a hard time understanding what is going on here.

    You can not be a free agent in the church in you are a cleric. You must have an Ordinary and you must have a Diocese that is your home base or a religious congregation. If your Ordinary, Bishop or Superior calls you home, you have to go. No matter what your current ministry is and no matter how important it is. No one can override that. Even the Holy Father recognizes the rights of the local Ordinary in matters of jurisdiction of his own Diocese and his own clerics.

    Fr. Pavone did the right thing by returning to his Diocese and his Bishop was within his canonical rights to take away his faculties to celebrate the sacraments outside his home diocese. Every priest these days has a card with their photograph on it and a statement from their Bishop that states they are a priest in good standing and have permission to celebrate the sacraments for a period of one year outside their Diocese. It is called a “celebret.” It needs to be presented when a priest visits other parishes, shrines like Lourdes, Guadalupe, the Vatican, etc. before a priest is allowed to celebrate the Eucharist. Without the card which has to be renewed annually, it can be presumed that the priest does NOT have faculties.

    For now, Fr. Pavone’s faculties have been revoked outside his diocese: so that means no preaching no masses, no baptisms, or any other function including hearing confessions until his bishop restores his universal faculties.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    @Anchoress
    “Manny, maybe I am misunderstanding you. Or you’re misunderstanding me. I too have (I thought) made it pretty clear that we should wait to know more, and I have even ventured to say my gut says this will all be cleared up. -admin”

    No, no, I wasn’t criticizing you at all. You said you had a jaundiced eye. My tendency is to look through rose colored glasses. That’s my only point.

    I’ve noticed a number of people who feel harassed over charitable requests. Here’s what I do. For the most part (there are some exceptions) I contribute once a year to the list of charities I believe in, right around Christmas time. I set a budget and divide it between the charities on the list. When requests come in the mail, I toss them or save them for that December check writing. This way it’s not an impulsive sending off of money. If you feel pressure, then you’re giving in to impulse, no different than an impulse buy at a store. And I never commit to a charity request over the phone. First of all, there’s usually an agency that’s collecting a part of the contribution. That’s why they say they are “calling on behalf” of the charity.

  • Russ

    I am a physician. I supported Fr. Pavone until two years ago. I received a note from the post office that I had to sign for a certified letter. It was Friday so I couldnt get the letter until monday. I spent 72 hours in absolute fear and anxiety until monday morning when i breathlessly raced to the po to find an appeal for cash from Fr. Frank. You see. When a physician is asked to sign for a certified letter, it is usually a lawsuit they are being told about. I thought it was cruel and unusual for a Catholic organizatipn to put me through this. I forgive PFL but I dont send money to them anymore. Hope and pray this all works to His best and His glory. Not ours.

  • Kate

    @Manny, I agree with your approach. I never give money under pressure. But in fact I didn’t feel pressured by the emails from Priests for Life, because after the first two or three I never even opened them. But it was annoying to find one or two of them in my inbox almost every day. Finally I opened one of them to ask to be unsubscribed, which, to their credit, happened at once. There are other pro-life ministries which I have supported for years; their fundraising requests are simple and low-key and I am confident my donations are put to good use.

  • tempus fugit

    I once made a modest donation to PFL and was disappointed to see a good chunk of that money get spent on sending me letter after letter asking for more money.

    Anyway, i hope this gets resolved asap because abortion is an abomination and the fight against it needs to continue without distractions.

  • http://te-deum.blogspot.com Diane Korzeniewski

    Some have referred to the bishop’s letter as a public statement.

    It was never intended to be public, but for other bishops. It seems that letter was leaked.

  • http://www.postabortionwalk.blogspot.com Ancilla dOmini

    Ugh. Another one? Seriously? I’m fatigued on celebrity priests. I don’t know who or what to believe any more. I do know that the recent Priests for Life campaign of having a wake for an aborted baby have been a bit much for me. Sigh.

  • Julie

    +

    I don’t have time to read through all the comments -apologies if this has been stated, but depending on how the organization is structured (as a non-profit) they may not be required to complete 990′s . That’s not unusual. For example, Campus Crusade for Christ is a 200 million dollar a year organization and is not required to complete a 990! (Specifically, this is because they are established as a ‘Church’). I don’t have time to look into this, but PFL’s status should be very easily discovered. My guess is not that they are behind in 990′s (very unlikely) but that because of their status, they are not required to complete one. Hope this helps! (I’m the admin of a non-profit so I encounter this frequently)

  • Julie

    +

    I’ll also say that I followed the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life and they DID have vocations. I was very surprised when they ‘folded’ for the reason of ‘not having vocations’. They had tons of inquiries and a number in formation. For a community only a few years old they were doing great. The closing up shop didn’t make sense. I also heard the banter that PFL/Father didn’t want to focus on formation of vocations after all -but shouldn’t he have figured that out before recruiting a bunch of men? It was a very odd situation.

  • Augustine

    I must say I am not at all surprised to see my bishop in the news in this capacity. The good bishop has demonstrated a clear disrespect for the persons of his priests since he was installed. We’ve lost 2, possibly 3, seminarians this year alone with no new ones on the horizon. I myself have given up the idea of pursuing a vocation in this diocese because of it. It’s sad…very, very sad. The nation’s prayers would be most welcome for our bishop and *his* sheep.

  • SMS
  • Ricarodo Munez

    If you read the Bishop’s letter, you’ll see that it presumes Pavone is guilty of financial mismanagement – on what basis does he make this charge? Rumors and allegations? An on what basis does he call for people to withold donations without proof of wrongdoing?

    What is the real issues here – silencing a priest who has probably done more than this Bishop to end abortion, or ensuring that there isn’t some kind of financial scandal?

    Consider that Priests for Life has released the results of an audit (http://www.priestsforlife.org/audit.htm), the Bishop’s statement seems to border on duplicity.

    I suspect that the real problem has to do with the fact that some Bishops think that there is too much empasis on abortion and not enough on their pet projects

  • Frank

    I have had the privilege of meeting Bishop Zurek and getting to know him a bit. He is a good man and a very sharp one, too. I am confident that he would not have taken an action like this without cause. He deserves the benefit of the doubt just as much as Fr. Pavone.

  • Jim

    I get a feeling the if Fr. Pavone had been more accommodating to the Bishops requests for financial information this would not have escalated to the boiling point. This smacks of the, “Don’t you know who I am?” mentality. Yes, we know who you are Fr. Pavone, a humble priest of the Amarillo diocese who is blessed with the beautiful gift of priesthood.

  • http://frmartinfox.blogspot.com Fr Martin Fox

    Sometimes two people you like get into a fight. That doesn’t mean you have to pick sides. You don’t have to decide who is the “good guy” and who is the “bad guy.”

    Could be the same here.

    I don’t know Father Pavone, but my impression of him has been, he’s not slick or fancy, just passionate.

    About direct mail. Sure, sometimes its gimmicky and over-the-top, but it’s simply another medium of communication; and a very effective one at that.

    Folks complain about the cost, but how many people realize it’s one of the cheapest ways to raise money? And less risky. Putting on events is far costlier and riskier–you can schedule a dinner and have a storm and the whole thing goes up in smoke.

    Meanwhile, those mailings you get, however annoying they may be, generate far more bang for the buck. They are, comparatively speaking, far less risky. Why? Because folks raising money through the mail can test a mailing, to a smaller number, to see if it’s a successful appeal, before sending out millions of letters.

    Why do they send you so many letters? Because that works. It would be wonderful if sending fewer letters would work better; but it doesn’t (I used to work for a group that used direct-mail and they actually tested this.)

    So folks who say, I only give to those who mail me once a year are vastly outnumbered by folks who will give to those who mail constantly. *Why* it works better is subject to speculation about human nature and psychology and sociology; but *that* it works better is demonstrable, as direct-mailers test everything.

    Of course, we all want a cost-free way to raise money: 100% goes to the cause. And if you know how to do that, why haven’t you shared that success with every good cause you care about?

    Finally, about filing reports. Many people have no idea of the vast number of forms any organization such as PPL must file, not only with the IRS, but with state offices around the country. It consumes a lot of time and thus overhead. Yet it’s kind of hard to explain to people who wonder why you have so much administration. If you skimp on administration, guess what? Forms don’t get filed on time.

    Anyone who has ever filed more than one tax form at a time can surely sympathize.

  • Joe

    “I thought it was cruel and unusual for a Catholic organizatipn to put me through this. I forgive PFL but I dont send money to them anymore.”

    Annoying, yes. “Cruel”? Wow. Come on.

    “I once made a modest donation to PFL and was disappointed to see a good chunk of that money get spent on sending me letter after letter…”

    Charities do this because studies show it works, and they recoup the money the spend. Just modern life.

    * * *

    I increasingly think Blogs and the Internet function a lot like gossip. Why does this issue need to be discussed at all, or widely known? It doesn’t. I normally like the material here a lot, but when you see something like this

    “[I like my attitude just fine. If you don't like it, you don't have to read it. It's a free and beautiful country -admin]”

    You realize the line about the Internet being akin to a million monkeys typing on a million typewriters is not too far off. That is not a dig at the Anchoress but at all of us. No one has clue about the Pavone business, has talked with either of them, but we have to have our say in the narthex. Absurd.

  • DavidNixon

    Were it not for the infamy that is abortion in the U.S., Father Pavone might well be satisfied to serve the Church as a humble parish priest. The fact that the Catholic laity have risen up to protect life by supporting PFL speaks volumes. Father Pavone has merely lent direction to what is a grass-roots movement to protect souls. Juridical considerations notwithstanding, isn’t the salvation of souls through pro-life evangelization the mission of the Church as a whole? And aren’t bishops overseeing PFL, thus ensuring that the mission is being accomplished effectively? ?Would that ecclesiastical authorities issue statements saying something to the effect: “In order to ensure the ongoing success and focus of PFL, Father Pavone is being called to brief me on his mission to see what further support he and I might organize together.” That would spare any undue “ad hominem” overtones. We are all on the same “team” are we not?

  • kris

    According to more informative NCRegister report it would appear that everything the Bishop had asked for in financial reports were given to him but not acknowledged. The question for Fr. Pavone is one of his calling within his vocation.

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/amarillo-bishop-recalls-father-frank-pavone-restricts-his-faculties/

    It would also appear that MANY bishops including the former bishop of Amarillo who invited him there and under whom an order for this work was imagined but did not get going, back his work and him personally in how he’s handled this work. Since the work has become international in its scope and since he is recognized as the central figure it seems fitting to definitely to go to the Vatican for clarification for all concerned. If it is true that Fr. Pavone and PFL have given the Bishop what he’s required in the past re: audits, etc., then such evidence ought to back Pavone’s position in any appeal to the Vatican.

    Believe it or not…it COULD just be that certain authorities are not able to understand complicated financial reports/audits and still have questions which really have been answered but not simply enough for their comprehension. There’s definitely been precedent for that!!!

    It is also evident that a lot of American Bishops don’t enjoy the work of Priests for Life. I know that at our parish’s ministry fair the Bishop would not permit our Pro-Life ministry to use pamphlets, etc. from PFL because they were considered too blunt and even too graphic. Other than that material, the ministry had a hard time finding any meaningful material that would actually make an impression other than the boring status quo type approach to the serious issue. Sigh!

  • kris
  • Charles L. Garris

    This 78 yr old staunch life-long Catholic was pleased to see that SNAP is requesting an ICC investigation. My late wife and I have always felt Benedict XVI did not do his job for 15 yrs. in cleaning up the priethood and furthermore the Col. of Cardinals did not do their job. He should never have been elected Pope. I hope the Pavone issue is resolved, although I believe there should be absolute transparency – or call in the I.R.S. I am of the opinion that Fr. Corapi is a complete egotistical A**. I listened to him last yr. on EWTN and he went on and on and on about his earlier life in LA dealing with the low-life….I had to turn him off and vowed never to watch him again. I would like to see something in the Anchoress about the church-mess in the Phila. area. I will be back, as I have more to say.

  • elleblue

    I really wish that priests and their Bishops would STOP doing this very public posturing!

    It doesn’t concern me and it’s a very private matter which often gets ugly the longer it remains in the public domain.

    Both of them should know better and show some restraint.

  • russ

    @Joe. I guess you have never been sued.Walk a day in my shoes and you may change your mind about your “wow” comment.

  • Tess

    No surprise that Fr. Pavone is in hot water.

    #36 Mike is on the wrong track.

    #28 Joe is on the right track–thanks for furnishihg the link to the Amarillo news. Go back to his comment and download that news article, where the previous bishop was such a pro-life supporter he was about gave away his store in the service of Fr. Pavone. What a grandiose plan! But, not everyone *got* the grandiose plan, to the neglect of diocesan affairs. *The chickens have come home to roost.*

  • Mouse

    We should hold off on jumping to any conclusions until more facts are made available to us.

    It is unlikely a bishop would act in such a manner unless he thought he had a good reason (the last thing the bishops want is more scandal or confusion about priests!)…

    At the same time, Fr Pavone is rightly known for having done a great deal for the cause of the unborn, and we should notice that his letter does not seem to have an arrogant tone (at least in these excerpts), and it is perhaps a good sign that he is going back to Amarillo as the bishop asked.

    Let’s just all pray and listen, without taking sides, until the thing is sorted out.

  • ThirstforTruth

    According to Father Pavone’s response there are both a considerable number of bishops and cardinals serving on the
    PFL executive board. Surely the good Bishop of Amarillo must
    also have to be holding them account for the financial mis-management of the organization also? But then they are not required to a vow of obedience to him…and not within the scope of his power. A curious situation at the very lease.
    Seems to be a need for more transparency on the part of everyone involved. Why just single out Father Pavone? I quess the answer is because he ( the Bishop ) can.

  • Theca

    Russ, I totally know where you are coming from, it happened to me with a different organization and it was a miserable 4 days waiting for some time to make it to the post office. Ruined my weekend and I don’t get very many good weekends.

    These Priest for Life request letters are way more persistant and annoying than any other group I donate to. Catholic Answers comes closest, but isnt near as annoying. I donate 1-2 times a year and toss the rest but it still bothers me.

    I will pray for all concerned. I’ve been worried there would be a “next scandal” but I am hoping this is not it.

  • ThirstforTruth

    @Russ…I doubt, dear Doctor, that you either have ever been
    sued…or sent a request for signature notice on a registered letter. The notice would INFORM you of sender identification. No need to “worry” all weekend because you would (1) know the identity of the sender (2) subpoena notifying you of a pending law suite is ALWAYS required to be served ON YOUR PERSON! Even if you lived and practiced in the farthest reaches of wilderness! So I have to ask, in all fairness, just what is the point of your comment, sir? Doctor?

  • kris

    I see nothing current nor thus pertinent to this sudden public examination of the person of Fr. Pavone by his bishop in comment 28 as does Tess 77!

    Big plans for a great cause. Everyone zealous for the Lord ought to have great hopes. One also apparently is forgetting a factor that just might have interfered with such hopes that involve a great deal of financing….and that is how the economy went into its present demise beginning just about that time!

    I just wish that American bishops would lose some of their power plays via influencing the faithful to think more in terms of what the USCCB dictates rather than what the shepherds ought to be demonstrating as examples of being faithful to Rome and the Faith individually. When a true leader such as Chaput or any other differs in his personal approach from the agreed upon status quo the black ball effect often follows in this American type climate of Bishop committees.

    I’ll always remember Fr. Pavone’s approach to the Terri Schiavo horror compared to the local bishop’s.

  • Theca

    Thirstfortruth: why so mean??

    I’ve been sued not once but four times as a doctor plus been investigated for identity theft violations (innocent of it all thank you very much and all cases closed as of last Thursday) and yet I have never been handed a lawsuit in person. Ever. It’s a logical and reasonable fear for us. I’m sure there are other groups out there who feel the same way.

    Moral of his story: people shouldn’t send registered letters frivolously.

  • ThirstforTruth

    @kris:..” I’ll always remember Fr Pavone’s approach to the Terri Schiavo horror compared to the local bishop’s”!
    Exactly! You have ht the nail on the head in as far as what
    seems to motivate the latest dust-up between the right and left factors within in the American Church and the enormous hypocrisy of the USSB…who for the most part, rather than being shepherds of the Church, are standard-bearers of the Democratic Party agenda….including the suppression of the Pro-Life causes. Father Pavone, along with his organization, represent an effective albeit embarrassing road-block to their political ambitions. For this he ( and the organization as well) must be suppressed. And through his Bishop they can accomplish their political goals. Does anyone seriously see much difference between this and what the Scribes and the Pharisees did to Jesus? Father Pavone, like Jesus, will have to willing submit to their odious wishes….or be called out as just one more ego-driven celebrity priest! Wow! No one ever said to follow Christ, to be a true Christian, would be easy. But never did I think that most of the evil intent would be within the ranks! It is easy to see how the Bishops have
    dug themselves an untenable position but almost impossible to understand how they will ever climb out of it. Pray for the
    Holy Spirit to come to the aide of our troubled Church and vilified priests!

  • ThirstforTruth

    Theca…As the wife of a retired doctor I know all about this
    litigious society and frivolous lawsuits. My brother is also a
    practicing malpractice attorney. I know that you cannot be
    formally sued without being “served papers”…and that this
    subpoena action is not carried out in the mail. I am sorry
    to hear that you have been sued but happy to know that you prevailed in court. I was not being “mean” to Russ…but his
    whine about losing sleep ( my words) all weekend worrying about a registered letter that might be from a litigant was preposterous. Since he was not forthcoming about that I wondered what his real point about receiving in the mail a registered letter from the PFL was really about..clearly it
    could not have been what he said, as it just did not ring
    true. No matter! There are more consequential matters
    to consider here…perhaps, you are right and I should
    just let his little “fib” go….but it did rankle …his statements just did not fit the facts. Russ seemed to go out of his way to vilify the Father Pavone’s PFL.

  • Summer

    We start out with good intentions and then our egos get fed and get larger and larger. Pretty soon we think we are the most important and without us everything will fall apart. Not true.

    Jesus died on the cross but left his Apostles to carry on. He trained them well and here we are today. The organization is still going on and on. A good organization works this way. Jesus was called home and obeyed. Jesus knew that the show must go on and made it clear. Jesus probably wasn’t keen on dying on the cross but did as he was told.

    Fr. Pavone is a priest and his pro-life apostles will carry on too. If not, then it means an individual person is more important than the reason for the organization. If one thinks it won’t than an reorganization is in order for it to thrive.

    Accountability is important. How the money is spent is important.The public has had enough of non-profits lack of accountability. Fr. Pavone’s boss, the Bishop has a right to tell him what to do. The priesthood isn’t set up to be free lance work without accountability. The Bishops want to make sure all is in order as a prevention. Sounds good to me. Brush your teeth to prevent cavities.

    Fr. Pavone seems to believe he is the organization and all will be lost if he isn’t running it.This is not a good way to run a good long-lasting effective organization. We think we are so important and we soon learn that we are one of many. Humility shows us the way.

    I once worked for someone who said she was tired spending money with training one person to be an expert and run a program, and then have them leave without anyone else knowing how to keep the particular program going. She was tired and fed up and didn’t want a “Royal Smart Person” to be the program but to have the program run itself with many well-trained to keep it going.