Free Fr Frank?

RNS  linked the Amarillo press on Fr Frank Pavone’s ongoing tussle with his bishop. The Priests For Life celeb hit up the Congregation of Clergy, and while Priests for Life and other anti-abortion folks are generally in rejoice mode on this, Bishop Zurek said:

(This ruling) makes it clear I am free to restore him to full religious ministry, if I wish. … But he must have my permission for anything in regard to work in pro-life, and in particular Priests for Life, because that is where the issue arose to begin with.

Okay.

Fr Pavone’s bishop is saying something that’s been true all along, supposedly, that he can permit the man to do as he wishes. And he makes clear the issue has been less about Fr Pavone’s freedom to say Mass or hear confessions when he’s on the road for his cause, and more about the financial accountability. Like here.

And it’s about being a diocesan priest, according to the bishop:

If I need help in the diocese, he must oblige me and provide the priestly work that is needed at any given time.

Some of the commentary from the blogosphere:

Father Pavone is back! Praise God! We’ve needed him now more than ever!! We can finally end abortion!!

Good l___, all those months! I need to double or triple my donations now!!

I believe the Holy Spirit is working through this man to end abortion!

As a pro-life Catholic, I find this difficult to stomach. We don’t need a messiah–we already have one, and we have a commission that’s been entrusted to us. No single person is indispensable to any cause. We don’t need to wait on leaders to get things done.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Free Fr Frank?

  1. Victoria Lanier says:

    Oh boy. Look, the truth of the matter is that leaders inspire people, and without a strong leadership, many people would succumb to complacency or lukewarmness. Only the fanatics are heralding Father Pavone as the ‘messiah’, and honestly that comment doesn’t seem like this person is hailing him as a messiah.

    The reason why the Vatican ruled in the way that it did was that they reviewed this case for several months, and determined what the most of us (except apparently the bishop) that Father Pavone was a priest in good standing. Ok, sure – the Bishop has the right to move him from place to place or keep him to run a church in the diocese.

    But the Bishop does NOT have the right to SMEAR his reputation in the manner that he did – publicly making empty accusations that almost ruined a man and his ministry.

  2. Jimmy Mac says:

    Way too many “priests plus money result in a very dangerous situation.

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