I don’t really like talking about the infamous Frank Pavone.
Sometimes, though, the disgraced priest says something so reprehensible that every gear in my imagination grinds to a halt until I’ve addressed it.
Yesterday, Pavone decided to take a few moments off of his busy schedule making cheap cell phone videos of himself talking in a lurid-looking hotel room, to say a few words about the immigration crisis at the Southern border. He decided to speak about the children being ripped from their mothers’ arms and kept in prisons or tent camps all across the country with no clear plan to ever give them back. This action by our government, if you recall, has been condemned in no uncertain terms by the USCCB; indeed, our bishops have flatly stated that this is a “Right to Life” issue. Pavone claims to live and breathe the right to life, so you know this is going to be good.
Pavone tweeted the following: “Did I miss the proposal to let everyone in jail who has children back home get out of jail because enforcing the law does not justify separating children from their parents? The hypocrisy of the Left knows no bounds.”
He really is worse than I thought. I can’t believe I’m saying that about a priest who desecrated an altar with a naked corpse he obtained under shady circumstances, but it’s true.
First off, nobody is talking about letting criminals out of jail because they have children. In many cases I think that’s actually a compelling argument, especially for nonviolent offenses of which crossing the border is one, but that’s not the problem here. The problem was that, up until recently, the illegal migrants and the legal asylum-seekers who were being held in detention were usually allowed to keep their children with them, which was far from an ideal situation; but now there are over two thousand infants and young children separated from their parents and being held in literal internment camps, severely traumatized and suffering more than they were before. And it’s not being done for the children’s good or even as a punishment for a crime the children committed, but in order to deter other people from seeking asylum here. We’re tormenting and abusing little children in order to scare vulnerable people into not seeking our help. Attorney General Sessions has said as much and he’s downright gleeful about it.
And Pavone, as far as his tweet has any point at all, is advocating that they should stay that way because American citizens who commit crimes often still go to jail whether they have children or not. Never mind that the children of American citizens are sent to live with other relatives, or with foster parents or in group homes if no relatives are available. They’re not put in camps and prisons. Only the children of Latino illegal migrants and legal asylum-seekers are being sent to camps and prisons. We’re asking that people not do that because it’s immoral. And I don’t mean only bleeding hearts like me are asking. The Church is asking. Our bishops are asking. The bishops say it’s immoral. The people who are supposed to be Pavone’s boss are calling this situation immoral and demanding it stop, but Pavone has openly defied them for years.
And then there’s the fact that a priest who claims to be so very pro-life is implying that enforcing the law is a good thing, better than keeping children together with their parents. Because I can think of something else that’s legal and separates children from their parents. I think we can all say what that is. Altogether now: ABORTION. If you think that enforcing the law is more important than the well-being of children, that’s a slam dunk argument for not speaking out against abortion. Abortion is legal, after all. If enforcing the law is more important to you than children then you’ve taken a stance that is anything but pro-life. The whole pro-life movement depends upon an understanding that mere legality doesn’t make a thing right. Human beings are worth more than the law, and as far as the law persecutes human beings, the law is wrong.
To be pro-life is to value life; to value the lives, dignity, and well-being of people, from conception until natural death. Like it or not, the children of migrants are people. I am pro-life, and Catholic, and I pray that Pavone is someday converted to obedience to the Catholic church.
I hope he someday becomes pro-life.
(image via Pixabay)