Fr. Pavone Writes Back

Fr. Pavone Writes Back October 18, 2016

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(Image via Pixabay.)

Apparently, a few days ago when Mary attempted to draw Fr. Pavone’s comment on his unfortunate (and presumably unintended) suggestion that rape does not matter, because opposing rape won’t end abortion, she placed her article on more than one of Fr. Pavone’s social media threads. He apparently never noticed that, when he did reply on the original thread,we also responded, for what we had assumed was the final time.

If he never noticed, that would explain his apparent consternation when he tagged Mary on social media last night demanding that she again respond to his comments, with no apparent knowledge of our original reply, still visible on the original thread. Also on the original thread are the false and arrogant accusations of some of Fr. Pavone’s followers that Mary and I are guilty of abortion (we aren’t, for the record, and disagreeing with Fr. Pavone does NOT suggest that we are) and the rather convincing rebuttals to Fr. Pavone views offered by Scott Eric Alt. Scott was, in fact, more on point to offer rebuttal than I was to offer a more meandering conversational response, but I prefer to discuss rather than fight. (If I sound like I am fighting here, I won’t dispute you, but I don’t have to like it.)

Fr. Pavone writes:

I responded to you. Did the article you link to get updated with my response? Now fairness and kindness would require that, would they not? Or should we go viral that this is an unfair attack referencing an outdated and inaccurate article?

Since Mary has asked me to field this on behalf of both of us, and my remarks are a bit lengthy for facebook I am responding here and placing a link there.

Fr. Pavone, I am sure that, if you wanted to, you could have read my response to your reply on the other thread. In any event, Scott Eric Alt very effectively rebutted your arguments there, so I am not sure my earlier reply adds anything substantial to his rebuttal. Nonetheless, as you now seek another reply, I will reply again.

I did not realize that when my wife originally sought your comment there she had also posted here. I talked to her about it and also asked her about the reference to “fraud” above. The attempt to solicit your response here was made prior to your rather unconvincing remarks on the other thread. Our further reply was posted there.
 
Since that didn’t satisfy you and you are now approaching her five days later for further remark, you are speaking to me. If you had a public argument with my wife in person and then came to our door five days later, I assure you that you would also be speaking to me. Since this is a written medium, she has reviewed what I have written and assures me that in this instance I speak for us both.
 
That said- if you dispute that you are a “fraud”- well and good. I spoke with Mary, this turn of phrase was ill-chosen- it represents not an intended accusation, but was typed in utter shock. Shock that you – a man she had thought of more integrity than your recent statements seem to suggest- would continue to advocate for Trump while blowing off his indisputably horrid comments about grabbing women. She honestly didn’t expect you to suggest that rape and sexual assault simply don’t matter because you see the self-reported assailant as useful in the struggle to end abortion.
 
You did later clarify you didn’t mean that, but you haven’t retracted your early statements–statements which we and many others still find disturbingly suggestive.
 
What you don’t dispute is that you want us to vote for a man who is on the record as boasting that because he is wealthy and powerful he can get by with sexual assault. You want us to believe that since this same man has changed- despite having boasted during his campaign that he could “shoot somebody on 5th avenue” – and no longer has the same attitudes he expressed when he boasted of sexual assault.
 
You seem to expect that he is magically going to save us all from abortion and other evils because he says that to you privately. This same man is known the world over for not keeping his word in situation after situation.
 
Say what you like, go on the record as you like, but don’t expect your roman collar and your personal sense of conviction to persuade everyone else you are correct. We at Steel Magnificat are not going to back down on several things.
 
We believe that rape is wrong (and by extension sexual assault is wrong, and that for the same reasons that rape is wrong). We believe that boasting that you can get by with committing crimes is wrong. We believe that Trump’s public record of flip-flopping and contradictory statements on abortion is a more reliable indicator of his attitude towards abortion than anything he may or may not have said to you privately.
 
We also don’t believe you when you try to convince us that when we re-iterate that rape and sexual assault are wrong we somehow secretly mean to say that abortion isn’t wrong. Believe it or not, what we meant by that, was that rape is wrong.
 
Furthermore, when we say that we find Trump’s record of dishonesty a convincing account of his intentions and character, we mean to say exactly that. That is not a statement about Hilary Clinton, nor an endorsement her attitudes toward abortion. We are, in fact, Catholics. We happen to believe that Hilary Clinton is wrong about abortion. If that shocks you, so be it.
 
The most repulsive statement you have made is the suggestion that Trump’s “beautiful family” makes his boasting about getting by with sex crimes okay or irrelevant. I am sure you don’t believe that being “beautiful” as human beings see somehow makes crimes acceptable. Surely non-white, non-wealthy families (such as many non-Trump families) – families that may not immediately strike you as “beautiful,” are also precious in the eyes of God, just as Trump’s is?
 
We are not backing down on our implied claim that any beauty on the part of Trump or his family does not – in any way, shape or form- excuse his boasting of crimes nor his record of lying. Nor is it likely to end abortion, nor likely to in any way, shape or form change the causes of abortion, nor likely to bring about a culture of life where abortion won’t seem, to many, to be a better choice than meeting the actual needs of women and supporting the freedom of women. In short, Donald Trump does not convince us that the need to honor human dignity and reshape our culture in accord with that honor will actually be met by your trolley-problem-style zeal for supporting Mr. Trump.
 
You may consider this our agreement to disagree.
 
You may share this with your audience as you see fit. I ask only that you do as we did, and link any quotations, however unfavorably presented, back to their source. In this way, your readers may form their own opinions, as we expect our readers to do.
 
As we have, for our part, agreed to disagree, if you have any future problems with Steel Magnificat, kindly address them through the mediation of our channel editor.
 
If you have any future problem with my wife, please content yourself with sharing your peculiar interpretation of the gospel’s demands with those who wish to hear it. And leave her alone.
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