|Fr. Frank Pavone|
Many will already be aware that Bishop Patrick Zurek, the bishop of the Diocese of Amarillo in Texas, has suspended Fr. Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life, from active ministry outside of his diocese. Bishop Zurek did so in an open letter to his fellow bishops on 9 September 2011. You can read more here.
I have two thoughts on this matter.
1. Why would Bishop Zurek choose to do this in an open letter? Would it not have been better for the bishop to privately request the priest to return to his diocese? That would seem, to me at least, to be the more gentle loving approach to the matter. Granted I do not know whether Bishop Zurek did try this less public approach first. Maybe, behind the scenes, the bishop became frustrated at the priests refusal to comply with private requests and felt his hand was forced.
2. The Priest for Life movement does seem to have evolved into a “Fr. Frank Pavone” ministry. When one thinks Priests for Life one almost automatically thinks Fr. Frank Pavone. I can’t help but think this is unhealthy. The same feeling I used to get about the ministry of John Corapi. Fr. Pavone, like John Corapi, seems to have become larger than the ministry itself. We should never forget that this Pro-Life ministry is not Fr. Frank Pavone. It is Christ reaching out his hand to save his little children through the pro-life movement. Maybe this is God’s way of saying that he now has new plans for this Priest for Life ministry. Maybe God is also saying to Fr. Frank Pavone, I now need you back in your diocese to be the pastor of the souls in a parish.