September 15, 2011
Father Pavone not “being charged with any malfeasance or being accused of any wrong doing”
The pro-life community’s response to Bishop Zurek’s incendiary letter announcing his suspension of Father Frank Pavone as National Director For Priests For Life has been loud, angry and virtually unanimous – No One goes after Father Frank without concrete evidence.
And Bishop Zurek apparently does not have it. As quoted in yesterday’s post, Bishop Zurek’s carelessly thrown bomb cited his “deep concerns regarding his stewardship of the finances of the Priests for Life organization”. Bishop Zurek further claimed that Father Pavone has shown “incorrigible defiance of my legitimate authority as his Bishop”.
Today the Diocese Of Amarillo was forced to issue a letter that basically amounts to a retraction of the Bishop’s allegations. And the incredible disparity between the language in Bishop Zurek’s letter and that of the Diocese’s clarification raises a significant question on what’s really going on here.
Based upon this “clarification”, Bishop Zurek’s warning his fellow bishops to “inform the Christian faithful under your care to consider withholding donations to the PFL until the issues and concerns are settled” is utterly inexcusable.
As is Bishop Zurek scheduling a two vacation beginning on September 13, the day on which he ordered Father Frank to report to the Diocese of Amarillo. It is quite likely that after enduring the storm of the last 24 hours, Monsignor Waldow, the signatory of the above statement, may have had a few uncharitable thoughts concerning the Bishop’s schedule.
Since assuming control in 1993, Father Frank has developed Priests For Life into one of the most prominent, most effective pro-life organizations in the world and has personally become one of the most respected and effective voices in all phases of the pro-life cause. That respect extends throughout the religious community and even unto atheists. Yes indeed, there are pro-life atheists who are ardent supporters of Father Frank Pavone.
For years many of the Catholic faithful expressed disappointment in the US Conference Of Catholic Bishops’ often mixed signals on abortion, which the Church describes as an intrinsic moral evil, especially regarding many Bishops’ tolerance of flagrantly pro-abortion Catholic politicians.
Father Frank’s position on such Catholic politicians has been anything but ambiguous, often publicly supporting pro-life Protestants over pro-choice Catholics. Most notable was Father Frank’s 2004 reference to pro-life Methodist George W Bush as a “better Catholic” than Catholic abortion supporter John Kerry.
So the question of yesterday’s post remains – is the Bishop’s recall order actually the result of Father Frank Pavone’s having gotten under one too many clerical and political skins?
If the financial records of Priest For Life and their associated ministries turn out to be as impeccable as they seem to be at this point, and Bishop Zurek persists on attempting to confine Father Frank’s pro-life ministry to the Diocese Of Amarillo, we will have the answer.
And hopefully Bishop Zurek will receive a call from the Vatican. He might want to schedule another vacation.
Category: Father Frank Pavone