There’s been tremendous interest this week in the fate of Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life.
As I wrote a few days ago, the bishop of Amarillo, Texas, has called Pavone away from PFL — questioning both the organization’s finances and Pavone’s obedience.
Today, PFL released a letter from the vicar of clergy in Amarillo stating that Pavone is a priest in good standing and has not been accused of malfeasance or wrong doing.
It sure seems that the toothpaste is out of the tube on this one. Bishop Patrick J. Zurek, in a letter to his fellow bishops across the country, wrote of Pavone that he needed “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.”
Apparently, at a press conference yesterday in Amarillo, Pavone said he is likely to leave the diocese and seek incardination elsewhere. Pavone already left the Archdiocese of New York after Cardinal Egan sought to have him serve in a parish.
What bishop will want to take Pavone now? We’ll see.
Not surprisingly, people have very strong opinions about Pavone. Some feel that his anti-abortion work is above reproach and that it is a crime to divorce Pavone from his ministry. Others feel that he is a priest adrift, removed from his vow of obedience, and needs to be reigned in.
In my previous post, by the way, I included Pavone’s own statement to me that some see him as a “loose cannon.” Except I banged it out as “loose canon,” which a reader described as “too cute.”It was unintentional, I assure you. But “loose canon” really is kind of cute.