From the Vatican:

“Father Pavone is not now nor has ever been suspended”

The following was posted on June 27 on the Patheos.com website.

That’s the statement being put out by Priests for Life:
We are happy to announce that the Vatican has upheld Father Frank Pavone’s appeal and has declared that Father Pavone is not now nor has ever been suspended. Father Pavone remains a priest in good standing all over the world.

We were confident all along that a just decision would be made by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy. While we fully agree that Bishop Zurek has rightful authority over the priests of his diocese, we also see the urgent need for Father Pavone to be allowed to conduct his priestly ministry outside the diocese of Amarillo for the good of the pro-life movement.

However, last week, Bishop Zurek had this to say:

In its decree of May 18, 2012, the Congregation for the Clergy has sustained Father Frank A. Pavone’s appeal of his suspension from ministry outside the Diocese of Amarillo and his appointment from me on October 4, 2011 as Chaplain of the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in Channing, Texas. Father Pavone is to continue his ministry as chaplain until further notice. As a gesture of good will, I will grant permission to him in individual cases, based upon their merits, to participate in pro-life events with the provision that he and I must be in agreement beforehand as to his role and function.
All other matters are outside the purview of this statement.
Amarillo, Texas, June 20, 2012
+Most Rev. Patrick J. Zurek, STL, DD
Bishop of Amarillo

To read the original posting Click here.

 

READER COMMENTS

Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 3:27 AM By Maryanne Leonard
Good news, as far as it goes. It is not clear what prompted this seemingly heavy-handed bishop to go as far as he did, but one would expect a clearance from the Vatican itself to be a signal that the time has come to let Father Pavone get back to work in his chosen field of endeavor. At this point, the bishop seems to be in a far less defensible position, but of course personnel matters are not appropriate for public discussion. We may never know why the good bishop got a bee in his bonnet, but let’s hope that envy of Father Pavone’s widespread following has played no role in the bishop’s past actions.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 3:39 AM By ANDREW
This is more the truth than the Bishop’s original assertion that there was a money issue with the Priests for Life. In reality the Diocese of Amarillo was in deep financial trouble according to their audit a couple of years ago. The Bishop needs to swallow his Pride and let Fr. Pavone lead where he can do the most good to Save Souls.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 3:50 AM By JR
Why would any Bishop prevent a priest to fight at any level against something as “EVIL” as Abortion. Has the Bishop ever thought that maybe this is what our Lord has wanted for Father Pavone. We finally have someone within the religious life who is willing to fight at the national level against this so called, choice. What about all of these radical nuns running around for “Womens Rights”, Please.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 6:02 AM By Annasher
“the vatican” also upheld Bp Zurek’s authority. Rightly so ! I no longer support PFL nor Fr Pavone due to his lack of obedience and absence from administering the Sacraments for which he was ordained.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 6:13 AM By Larry
I gather from the context that Bishop Zurek’s somewhat confusing first sentence should probably read “…the Congregation for the Clergy has sustained Father Frank A. Pavone’s appeal of his suspension…and has sustained his appointment from me on October 4, 2011 as Chaplain of the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in Channing, Texas.” (Adding clarity.) I would have expected that. The answer that I really wanted–and that I think the faithful need–is, “what of the accusations and/or insinuations from the bishop that the finances of Priests for Life are in disarray and that donors would be ill-advised to contribute to them?” When will we hear the answer to that?


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 7:07 AM By MacDonald
WHY is this news? Bishop Zurek made it clear from day one that Father Pavone was not suspended, but rather “called home” to minister in the Diocese of Amarillo, where he pledged ‘respect and obedience’ to his Ordinary. This is normal for diocesan priests in the Roman Catholic Church. Just as the military moves chaplains from place to place, even so the diocesan Bishop moves his priests from assignment to assignment. This is about as newsworthy as stating: “The Vatican confirmed that they sun will set this evening.”


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 7:14 AM By AmarilloPete
It’s just confirming that he is a priest in good standing. He is orthodox and a fighter and he has not done anything scandalous or serious as far as we know. What it means is that he does not have the liberty to jump from one city to the next as he pleases or desires. There is obedience. Therefore, he has to have PERMISSION to travel. The bishop was concerned about not only the financial stewardship but his spiritual life. Fr. Frank, though surrounded by many supporters and beloved is in many ways a loner. When you are a priest, you need community, spiritual nourishment and not be too immersed in politics. What Zurek did was like a brother seeing his brother losing his way. Fr. Frank might have been forgetting about his role as a priest and was thinking he was more of a politician and a manager of an organization. His time in Amarillo with the sisters has really changed him (at least I think) and I applaud the bishop for his efforts. Thank you Bishop Zurek for saving Fr. Frank !


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 7:37 AM By JLS
Any news yet on whether Bp Zurek has ever saved a baby from abortion, or cares?


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 7:38 AM By PJT
How about displaying some obedience to your local ordinary, Fr. Pavone?


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 8:45 AM By OneoftheSheep
I think many pro life Catholics can relate to having difficulties in their mission with regard to less than stellar support from the church. By the way, things are improving. I do recall going to confession to Fr. Frank at a retreat he gave in San Francisco some time ago. At that time, I was having some difficulties of my own with regard to Diocesan support for my own ministry and Fr. Frank had a wonderful and supportive counsel for me on how to handle the situation which worked well. Why pro life people are marginalized and treated with less respect than other ministries in our church I don’t know. I do know how important the work is. But, the battle belongs to the Lord.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 10:04 AM By JLS
Will they ever make a prominent pro-life priest into a bishop and give him a prelature? Why not?


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 10:04 AM By JLS
PJT, have you ever saved a baby from abortion, or known of a bishop who did?


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 10:05 AM By max
i’m glad the holy see has {apparently} ironed out this mess a bit between a priest and his superior. however, we still have the problem of some priestss and religious becoming “famous” and developping a personality cult, which then can lead them to do messy stuff…i’m thinking corapi, euteneuer, and cutie. with some, the problem is money, with others sex, with others obedience.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 10:06 AM By JLS
OneoftheSheep, the answer to your question is that there is no money in the fight against abortion. This is why the chanceries and bishops are busy administrating other matters.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 10:27 AM By Tee
Why was the Blessed Mother assumed into heaven? As the late Fr. John Hardon, S.J., whose cause for canonization is being presented to the Holy See, often stated: Because of her obedience. As Fr. Hardon said, and as was exemplified by the Son of God, obedience trumps all!


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 10:48 AM By Thomas Edward Miles
The BISHOP still does not get it! It is all about control on the part of the BISHOP! This attitude is the problem with most of the BISHOPS these day!!! The right to life is of more importance than the BISHOP’S will! The BISHOP needs a course in being a humble servant, what a concept for a BISHOP these days!!!!!


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 1:05 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
It is very interesting to note on this Site who are the ones supporting Fr. Pavone and who are the ones not supporting him. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 1:20 PM By Abeca Christian
Praise God there is such a thing as justice.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 1:52 PM By FYI
Fr. Frank Pavone switched to the Diocese of Amarillo because he wanted to write his own ticket; when the Diocese got a new Bishop, Fr. Pavone found himself on a shorter leash. At ordination, each diocesan priest promises OBEDIENCE not to his own whims or projects or dreams, but to his Ordinary, i.e., his Bishop. As Fr. Pavone freely chose the Diocese of Amarillo (and the Diocese graciously agreed to let him “in”), he now needs to behave like a good soldier of Christ and carry out the ministry his Bishop assigns him: even if it’s in a small Texas town. That town, too, has souls that need saving.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 5:43 PM By Charles N. Marrelli
May I suggest that Bishop Zurek’s detractors be little more charitable; it takes humility not to defend one’s self. The prolife movement had suffered twenty years of the abortion slaughter before Priests for Life joined the prolife battle. The lack of a strong united USCCB voice at the helm created a demand for a religious voice that was so great Priests for Life virtually exploded onto the national scene. The USCCB should have been leading the charge as Bishops for Life, over forty years ago. Recently Archbishop William Lori called religious liberty, “the pre-eminent social-justice issue of our time.” My reaction is that he was mistaken. The pre-eminent social-injustice of all time, was and is, abortion-on-demand; it has been for four decades. and at the cost of over 50 million preborn American citizens! They suffered the worst kind of social injustice, not just the loss of religious liberty, but of life itself. It took forty years for our bishops to show signs of unifying for the cause of liberty. Regrettably, religious leaders of all faiths, and our so-called moralist pundits, did not recognize the magnitude and severity of this greatest of all evils. Abortion-on-demand has made us a nation of barbarians. If we could have awakened our religious leaders forty years ago, the majority of Christians would not have voted for a radically pro-abortion president. And just maybe abortion would not be the leading cause of death in America. Prayers for our preborn American citizens. Charles N. Marrelli, Writers for Life.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 5:45 PM By max
THOMAS EDWARD MILES – i could be wwrong here, but i get the feeling you think the BISHOP is the problem…just a hunch…


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 6:03 PM By FromThePew
As a cradle Catholic, I’ve personally NEVER heard a Bishop discuss our Catholic obligation to vote Pro-life. I know a few Bishops have written about it. Was the USCCB’s booklet clear or did they botch the job? The fruits of their booklet — Catholics voted in great numbers for a Pro-abort President. (Shouldn’t that be embarrassing for the USCCB?) You would have to be blind NOT to see a connection. On the other hand, Fr Pavone NEVER fails to clearly explain our Catholic obligation to vote Pro-life when I’ve seen him speak via EWTN. This is a very straight forward issue. You choose God and His Culture of Life or you choose evil and worldliness and the Culture of Death. Somebody needs to instruct Catholics (based on the 2008 vote) on our obligation and obedience to God. Fr Pavone seems to be the best choice as he seems to be the one committed to touching our hearts and minds and correcting the error of our ways. To me, his Bishop is very wrong minded and at a pivotal time in our Nation’s history. God bless us all.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 8:16 PM By JLS
Ain’t deetraction, Marrelli. “Detraction” is a charge that tyrants like to level against the people being tyrannized. Say, have you ever heard of the concept of criticism, problem solving, challenging? What would you say to a pope who told all the bishops “to become holy”? Would you consider that detraction, Marrelli?


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 8:19 PM By JLS
Obedience means to God in the bishop. It is up to the bishop to warrant obedience by being Godly. I move the Pope elevate Fr. Pavone to being a bishop and give him priests and make it a papal prelature or whatever they call it over there in the big house.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 8:21 PM By JLS
Yeah, right, FYI, Fr Pavone, the most prominent and accomplished prolife priest in history should be made to while away his time in some village … and let the babies burn and be torn apart without intervention. What a great idea: save a village, lose millions of souls.


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 10:01 PM By JLS
If a bishop said something publically (and remember that the inside of a church belongs to the govt and thus is public) about voting prolife, then the diocese will lose the money flow from govt and lose its tax exemption. If you do not believe that the govt owns the insides of the churches, then why would they have the legal right to regulate speech there?


Posted Monday, July 02, 2012 11:36 PM By Jay S.
I hope that EWTN decides to put his talks back in the audio archives. The vast majority of them were removed last year, like his DEFENDING LIFE series.


Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 4:36 AM By MANDY
ThePew, the Catholic Faith is well balanced when considered in entirety. There are many things in the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” from the Magisterium that have not been discussed from the pulpit. Many Bishops in the USA do not actively encourage the reading of the CCC by their Priests and all Lay Catholics in their Diocese – which allows for unbalanced teaching from individuals which includes personal opinions. Ever hear from the pulpit that immigrants must obey the law #2241; subsidiarity must be followed # 1883, 1885, 1894, 2209; or that without commutative justice, no other justice is possible #2411 meaning not only individuals but governments must pay their debts ? ? ? Thou shall not kill (including abortion and euthanasia); Thou shall not covet thy neighbors goods, Thou shall not commit adultary, etc – all need to be addressed from the pulpit. The CCC must be actively promoted by us all to overcome the lack of teaching (catechesis) from some US Bishops.


Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 10:16 AM By Dave N.
Unfortunately the troubling financial questions about PFL, particularly in their funneling donations away from PFL to other non-Catholic organizations, remain unanswered. Instead all I receive in the mail are dire requests for even more money.


Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 10:27 AM By goodcause
The decision didn’t clarify much…..the Bishop still calls the shots so isolating Fr. Pavone will continue. Sad.


Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2012 7:53 AM By JLS
I second the motion to elevate Fr Pavone to the episcopacy … and while they’re at it also put him in charge of the “American” Church.


Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2012 2:14 PM By max
SUSPENDED from the beginning of this article is such a scary word…sounds like a bat hanging upside down. or a guy hanging from a noose. or someting equally weird.


Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2012 9:05 PM By JLS
max, they got him suspended from a Cross along with all those aborted unborn babies he’s praying with, the number of which keeps growing due to episcopal inaction and mal-action.


Posted Wednesday, July 04, 2012 9:45 PM By Cole Thornton
Until there is a group named “Bishop’s for Life” defending the un-born, Fr Pavone and Priests for Life can only accomplish so much. Just think what could be accomplished if the protection of the un-born message came from the top of every diocese week after week, not just pro-life march week when some bishops march a few blocks for a photo-op. Many bishops use the pro-life mantra calling it “cradle to grave”. Well “cradle to grave” covers a large spectrum like social justice, Devilcare for all, open borders, income redistribution, guaranteed wage, fill in the blanks. My opinion is that many bishops saw Fr Pavone’s strong presence in defense of the un-born as a reflection of their weak actions on that subject. I think some bishops put the squeeze on Zurek to get Fr Pavone out of their hair and keep him on a very short leash. Anyone agree with me? What you say JLS?


Posted Thursday, July 05, 2012 5:55 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Cole Thornton, Right On! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher


Posted Thursday, July 05, 2012 8:47 PM By Catherine
I nominate Cole Thornton to replace Mitt Romney!


Posted Thursday, July 05, 2012 8:49 PM By JLS
Bullseye, Cole !!!


Posted Friday, July 06, 2012 11:11 AM By Abeca Christian
yip Catherine, I agree…….me too

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Comments

  1. you guys are NUTS if you think the bishops of america “ganged up on” father pavone — they love what he does. talk about zany conspiracy theories. if anything, they like the fact that he does a lot of the work FOR them in bringing abortion to the fore front. every bishop i read aabout is against abortion, so, if anything, they are probably disappointed his own bishiop called him back home to work in a parish.

  2. Cole Thornton says:

    max, When Fr Pavone was told to get back to Amarillo last Sept it was widely reported that Fr. was looking for another bishop to incardinate him in another diocese where he could then continue his work for the un-born. So, max, how many bishops came forward to bring Fr. into their diocese? ZERO! Do you think this might blow up your 1027am comment?

    • MacDonald says:

      Cole and Max, you may not be aware of this basic fact, but once a priest has been incardinated into a Diocese, the Bishop “owns” him. He cannot join the military chaplaincy unless his Bishops permits it; he cannot transfer into another Diocese or a Religious Order unless his Bishop permits it; he cannot move to a different parish assignment unless his Bishop orders him to. It’s rather like being in the military, and being tempted to just go AWOL because one gets sick and tired of the regulations, food, or discipline. No one here can know if another Bishop or Archbishop has offered to taken Father Frank Pavone in, but his own Bishop would have to permit it in any case. Given the shortage of priests in most Dioceses, Bishops would probably be hesitant to let their priests go — unless, of course, the man was a huge problem and trouble-maker, in which case the Bishop would probably give him carte-blanche to go wherever he pleased! (Which would, sadly, give the NEXT Bishop the trying task of dealing with the same problem personality.)

    • COLE – in a word, “no.” but thanks for asking. :-)

  3. MacD, no personality is a “problem personality”; you’re confusing personality with character. This shows that you do not understand the nature of personhood.

  4. So far, no thoughts expressed on why the Pope does not consecrate Fr Pavone to the episcopacy and create a prolife prelature.

    • perhaps because father pavone has shown himself to be rather rebellious when it comes to ecclesiastical authority, and the pope doesn’t need more or THOSE in positions of leadership.

      he’s had his fill of such types, including bishops whom he has fired, like that guy in australia, who get the miter and then become even more full of themselves.

      p.s. bishops in the roman catholic chruch are ORDAINED not CONSECRATED. oh, dear JLS, you reallyu need to get out more. i’m sure you are incredibly grateful for my perky insights, no?

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COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 250 words, and should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.