The piling on of Frank Pavone continues: sexual misconduct added to blasphemy and disobedience, and one of the best summations I’ve read:
Thus Pavone was a priest meant for the age of Trump. He became a Republican political hack who did far more to harm than help the Catholic Church. Imbued with an unearned sense of his own importance, he portrayed his organization as an urgent and irreplaceable voice, needlessly bucking a hierarchy whose position on abortion is well known and striking a heroic pose amid clerical ranks where pro-life priests are everywhere to be found.
I used to be a proponent of the notion that no age is particularly more virtuous or more depraved than any other. I don’t have experimental data. I admit it’s just a feeling. Now, I’m worried we live in a crazier age than normal.
Misconduct against women irks me. Women in my family, women I dated in school, my own daughter’s misadventures in foster care. I continue to see it in church too, and that is a double dose of bother. A friend was once relating some divorce proceedings that were going particularly south and I opined this would be a good case for pulling a guy’s man card.
Frank Pavone, too. Priests have demanding lives, to be sure. But some things I worry about are no worries to them. Employment. Retirement. Vacations. Annual retreats. Lots of gifts and help in time of need. Lots of priests have special apostolates (not vocations!) to do something above and beyond their main calling. Being a trumpkin isn’t really one of the choices.
Think about it: Priests for Life is just one of many organizations that sends faxes and emails and asks for money. Frank Pavone was one priest among many clergy who can be easily identified as pro-life. Did he ever make a real difference?