Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Father Pavone

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. 

by Bishop Patrick J. Zurek
June 20, 2012

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

I express my personal and professional gratitude that Father Frank Pavone is not suspended from his priestly faculties.  He is a faithful and loyal son of the Church and I am confident he will continue to respect, honor and obey his diocesan bishop. The work he does as National Director of Priests for Life serves the common good of all the dioceses and parishes and faithful in the United States. It makes sense that he inform his bishop of his activities inside and outside the diocese, which every priest should do. If every bishop kept vigilant on everyone (clergy, lay and religious) who speak in their diocese AS LONG AS the criteria is fair and universal. Specifically, the litmus test must be orthodoxy. If what they SAY and WRITE conforms with the Magisterium (namely, the Catechism, Ecumenical Councils and Papal Encyclicals), then they should be allowed to speak on any church property. 

Dissidents who preach or teach personal opinions which contradict official doctrine and dogma of the Catholic Church should be barred from every Catholic church, school and seminary. When it is a matter of PRUDENTIAL JUDGMENT or private opinion on something not already defined, then DE GUSTIBUS NON DISPUTANDUM EST. Like an imprimatur which does not mean the local bishop agrees with all the opinions of the author, he does verify that what is in this particular book does not conflict with defined faith and morals.  Bishops may not always share the same perspective or they may have a different prudential judgment but as long as the speaker does not say or write anything that contradicts official Magisterial teachings, they should be permitted to speak. 

I am confident that anything Father Pavone says and writes does conform and therefore keeping open communications with his bishop is sensible and proper. As long as all speakers and public persons are treated equally, i.e., they are scrutinized with the same criteria (the measure you measure with ...) then there is justice and fairness. If only certain people are singled out to be examined for their orthodoxy credentials, that would be unfair and improper. God bless Father Pavone and Bishop Zurek and all priests, deacons and bishops so we can be better sons of the Church. As ordained clergy, we should be working together and on the same side, that of TRUTH and GRACE. Preaching and teaching orthodox doctrine and celebrating valid, licit and reverent divine worship is what the People of God deserve and nothing less.


ToriLa said...

I too am so grateful that Father Pavone is cleared of anything!! It's not just that he's not suspended, the Vatican is ruling that he never was and always was a priest in good standing!! I never gave up hope on this!!! Father Pavone is the man! He is going to be the one to end abortion

Yes, God bless all clergy!

Watch out all you liberal politicians, you'll need new jobs after we vote you out and vote in the ones who actually care about human life!!

Anonymous said...

It is very encouraging to see this post on Fr. Frank as so many clergymen were pointing fingers without really knowing the truth about Fr. Frank. I phoned Priests for Life to congratulate them on being diligent and for perservering this long. Only the grace of God could have helped Fr. Frank sustain such assaults from the evil one. It is obvious that God has it in His plans to continue using Father as an instrument to end ABORTION!


Your friend,

timh said...

Thanks be to God.

t_r said...

I think the Congregation for the Clergy must provide a comment specifying its findings, since this has been such a high profile situation. Some awful things have been implied about Fr. Pavone's obedience to his bishop and about Father's honesty with contributions. I don't think there have been sufficient details clearing Father Pavone's good name, keeping a pall of doubt over his ministry.

Black Biretta said...

The way the Church operates, there will be no disclaimer issued by Rome. Had Father Pavone been found guilty of any crime against Canon or Civil Law, his suspension would have been kept intact and even expanded to forbidding him from performing any priestly duties inside or outside the diocese. The fact that his one and only suspension is nullified or lifted means he is in the clear. His faculties to celebrate Mass, preach, hear confessions and celebrate the Sacraments anywhere in the world are intact.

Here in America, if an accused person is found NOT GUILTY in a court of law, sometimes apologies are made but not always. Canon Law is based on Roman Law and not English Common Law. Nevertheless, the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty is present in both.

Sadly, our modern culture and society give more veracity to rumor, gossip and innuendo. Allegations and accusations become facts to many people whereas a trial or due process is meant to ascertain and determine the truth. When there is insufficient evidence, we must give the benefit of the doubt yet many folks rely on subjective feelings instead.

Father Pavone has not been found guilty of any crimes or acts of disobedience and therefore should be treated as any other innocent person deserving the protection of their good name and reputation. Getting a statement, however, is very unlikely. Even in our civil court system, when a someone is identified by police as a "person of interest" let alone as a 'suspect' or the 'accused' that does not mean the District Attorney or the prosecutor makes a disclaimer when the real culprit is found guilty.

Unknown said...

God bless Father Pavone! Now he can continue his great ministry and save lives! Praise be to our Lord God in Heaven!

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful!

oddfisher said...

I'm not sure I understand what this resolves. Beyond preventing Bp. Zurek from using the word "suspended", I don't see what's changed.

I thought that the appeal involved Father's priestly faculties and whether or not there was any suspension, but comments here and elsewhere seem to assume that the Vatican made a ruling on the actual substance of the disagreement between Bp. Zurek and Father. Is this the case?

There also seems to be an assumption on the part of many that the Vatican also sided with Father on the issue of his return to full time leadership of Priests for Life, and the bishop will have to comply. This can't be right.

I don't see anything in this decision that means Father has to be reassigned to Priests for Life. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

I think Bp. Zurek may have very good reasons on reassigning Fr. Pavone. Some of Fr. Pavone's comments have been pretty arrogant. Ed Peter's had some pretty good comments on this whole affair and there is also a good article at Catholic Culture that raises some questions.

"Naturally we all have an inclination to command, and a great aversion to obey; and yet it is certain that it is more for our good to obey than to command; hence perfect souls have always had a great affection for obedience, and have found all their joy and comfort in it."
-Saint Francis of Sales, Doctor of the Church

Unknown said...

People - the Congregation has ruled IN FATHER FRANK’S FAVOR – the Congregation is the only group with access to all of the knowledge, research, documentation, etc., and if after all those months of researching and reviewing the case, they could reach a conclusion in favor of Father Frank, they must see that Father is solid. Yay for Dr. Peters for being so knowledgeable. But you cannot dispute what has come forth from the Vatican, and as none of us have viewed the documentation that the Vatican viewed, we cannot claim to know the ins and outs of their decision making. However, if the Vatican is siding with Father Frank, and it is, they must have reached a conclusion resulting from the extended study of all of the documentation given by Priests for Life, Father Frank, and Bishop Zurek. And if the decision that the Congregation made is good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

Unknown said...

It's my understand that Fr. Pavone went to Amarillo because he wanted toform his own pro-life religious order and was offered a convent for his uise by the previous Bishop of Amarillo. Apparently, that new order has worked out, and Fr. Pavone stayed there, also as a chaplain to an order of nuns.

Does anybody think that Fr. Pavone left Staten Island, New York, to go to the boondocks Diocese of Amarillo in the panhandle of North Texas so he could better carry outhis pro-life ministry?

I find the new bishop's statement, after he has been told that Father Pavone has the right to his Priests for Life ministry, to be very arrogant.

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