Sunday, 18 September 2011

My thoughts on the suspension of Fr. Frank Pavone

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.

1 comment:

  1. John O’Gorman

    30 Myrtle Avenue, Winthrop, MA 02152, USA

    P/F: 617 846 2983



    As regards Priests for Life, a 501(c)(3) corporation, and its entities Gospel of Life Ministries, Inc., and Rachel's Vineyard Ministries, there needs to be full Public Accountability. Yearly results need to be published on their Websites in a timely fashion. In the case of Gospel of Life Ministries and Rachel's Vineyard Ministries, this apparently has not happened.

    On page 12 of 23 of the Priests For Life report (page 5 of “Priests for Life Financial Statement And Independent Auditors’ Report For the Year Ended December 31, 2010”), PFL shows a Loss of $1,446,427 (

    While showing this Loss, PFL has transferred $1,315,756 to two of their other organizations. Page 22 of 23 of the PFL report (page 15 of “Priests for Life Financial Statement...”), shows loans from Priests for Life to Gospel of Life Ministries of $878,701 “During 2010 and in prior years” and donations “During 2010” to Rachel's Vineyard Ministries of $437,055.

    First, what was done with the $1,315,756? Secondly, why did PFL transfer these monies to other entities when PFL were showing a Loss? Donors and the public are entitled to know! Bishops must ensure that Financial Directors and truly Independent Auditors of these, and all Church-based entities, report to the Ordinary of the Diocese in which they are operating.

    Yours in Pro-Life,

    John O’Gorman