I need to speak again, as briefly as I can, about Father Frank Pavone.
For those of you just joining us, Frank Pavone is a priest not in good standing, incardinated in the diocese of Amarillo. Yes, he is. This has been a matter of controversy because Pavone has released a series of conflicting statements claiming he’s not in the diocese of Amarillo, that he transferred out of Amarillo to a “new, supportive bishop,” and that he’s a priest in good standing who will sue everyone who says otherwise. But this isn’t true. I called the diocese in October and was told by the administrative assistant to the bishop that he’s incardinated in Amarillo, and he is not a priest in good standing; they won’t issue him a letter of suitability when he goes outside the diocese anymore. After I reported on that, Pavone changed his website several times, but the old versions still exist in the Wayback and you can see them clearly in my previous post about him. I have been publicly accused of the mortal sin of calumniating a priest by several people for writing down what the diocese said to me, but that’s all in a day’s work.
Since I have written that piece, Pavone keeps claiming to have a new bishop but he blocks everyone on Twitter who asks for verification of this. He has never said the bishop’s name aloud or in writing. Pavone’s longtime canon lawyer, Father David Deibel, also keeps insisting he’s in good standing and there’s no mystery here. I recently found out that Father Deibel’s other job, when he’s not defending Pavone, has been serving as the chairman of “Opus Bono Sacerdotii” and “Men of Melchizedek,” two extremely sketchy-sounding nonprofits whose purpose is to defend and coddle priests accused of sexual abuse, including those already convicted and in prison. They view themselves as in opposition to the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, and wish to portray the ongoing priestly sexual abuse scandal as “a media and legal feeding frenzy.” You can read all about them in Crux. Pavone certainly knows how to surround himself with good help.
This week, Jenn Morson, a freelance writer, reported publicly on her facebook that she had called to check on Pavone’s canonical status as well, and this is what she said: After Pavone’s recent profanity, a family member who donates to PfL asked me to help them confirm the tweets were real as well as help them get to the bottom of the claims regarding his good standing. Here’s a summary of what we discovered together: Yes, PfL knows he said these things and requests prayers as they move forward. The receptionist told my family member that Pavone is in good standing and his new bishop is going to be in Colorado Springs. I called Colorado Springs. They say absolutely not. He is not transferring there. So I called back to Amarillo. They confirm that Pavone is still incardinated there. They have absolutely no paperwork on their desk requesting transfer. Nothing. Amarillo also confirms that Pavone is not a priest in good standing. He has no celebret. If your parish called tomorrow to get one, they would be told this. So do with this what you will. If you don’t trust me because I’m a Soros operative, you can call these places yourself to confirm. I hope you are kind to all of the folks, though, because they are exhausted from the amount of time they waste on this.
So, I’m no longer going to ask you to believe me, or Jenn Morson, or anyone else about Pavone’s canonical status either. Get it from the horse’s mouth. You can call Priests for Life at 888-735-3448 and see what their line is this week. You can call the Diocese of Colorado Springs at 719- 636-2345 to ask them. You can call the Diocese of Amarillo at 806-383-2243. Call the Pope and see if he answers if you want to. Pavone is either lying or gravely mistaken about which bishop he’s supposed to answer to, and by pretending to be a priest in good standing he’s perpetuating this fraud on the public. That’s that.
Now, Pavone has gotten predictably alarming during the 2020 election fracas. I’ve already written about his spiritually abusive, sacreligious statement that he would withhold absolution from anyone who confessed the “sin” of voting for a democrat. Though that’s still nothing compared to the 2016 election, when he decorated an altar with a naked human cadaver he obtained under dubious circumstances and seems to have been keeping without burial since the 1970s, while claiming all the time that he’s buried that corpse again and again and again.
This weekend, he went off on a tirade, posting very strange videos and tweeting that democrats were “g*dd*mn losers,” and yes I’ve got a screenshot of that:
People whom I’ve never heard get angry with Pavone were horrified at his language. Personally, I’m not. His potty mouth is the least of my worries. I cuss a lot, myself, especially when I think about Frank Pavone. He’s done much graver wrongs in the name of the Church and unborn children, giving the Church and care for unborn children a black eye in the process, and those are the ones that should make you furious. This doesn’t even belong on the charts.
There were questions as to whether this tweet was authentic or if he’d been hacked, which seems silly to me since Pavone swears a lot on social media. This screenshot is from 2019:
And indeed, the tweet is authentic. We know this because, although he took the tweet down, Pavone boasted about how it offended people and bragged that he was just getting started.
Today, after quietly watching this fiasco for months, the Diocese of Amarillo posted a brief statement on Father Frank Pavone, whose mess is all over their hands because he is incardinated in their diocese. You can read it here on their website. It says in its entirety: Recently Father Frank Pavone has posted a variety of messages and statements in regard to the General Elections in November, 2020. These postings on Social Media as videos concern the serious sinfulness of voting for candidates of a particular political party (with refusal of absolution if confessed) and the use of scandalous words not becoming of a Catholic priest. These postings are not consistent with Catholic Church Teachings. Neither the Catholic Church nor the Diocese of Amarillo condone any of these messages. Please disregard them and pray for Father Pavone.
And there you go. Frank Pavone’s boss, who is still his boss even though he recognizes no authority under Heaven, says to disregard this nonsense.
I don’t know what it’s going to take to stop people from wasting their time and money on this colossal deceiver of a man. Priests for Life happily rakes in millions of dollars every year. EWTN and the like still treat Pavone like an authority. I don’t see any other Catholic news sources so much as bothering to make phone calls about this. But I, for one, refuse to tolerate such an abusive bully. And, in concurrence with the Bishop of Amarillo, I’m begging my readers to do the same.
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross.
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