Frank Pavone

Priests for Life in $608,000 debt, faces financial peril

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In another urgent fundraising letter dated February 2012, Priests for Life is seeking $608,000 "in the next two weeks in to pay bills that are now over 90 days old."

Fr. Frank Pavone, the embattled national director of Priests for Life, states that the "financial problem we're facing is the combination of two things, really; neither of which we had any control over."

In this missive, Pavone drops from his letterhead the role of national director of the Gospel of Life Ministries.

The two outside factors that have put Priests for Life in this critical situation are the economy and donors reneging on paying their pledges, he writes.

As for the economy, Pavone plays dithering economist and says the economy has been "in a rut for three years now. And I have no idea when it's going to get back on track. But the continued high unemployment and low consumer confidence is wreaking havoc with families ... including our Priest for Life family. A fairly large percentage of your fellow Priests for Life supporters have been forced to cut back on their gifts to us for the simple reason that they are having a tough time making ends meet in their own families."

Priests for Life leader 'not in prison,' continues to raise money

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Amarillo Bishop Pat Zurek broke his silence to Karen Smith Welch, the Amarillo Globe-News reporter who has been ably covering the dysfunctional relationship between Zurek and one of his priests, Fr. Frank Pavone. Pavone is the national director/president/chairperson of no fewer than three anti-abortion charities: Priests for Life, Inc.; Gospel of Life Ministries Inc.; and Rachel's Vineyard Ministries.

According to the Amarillo Globe-News:

 

A Roman Catholic priest restricted to ministry within the Diocese of Amarillo participated in March for Life events Monday in Washington with the permission of his bishop.

 

The Rev. Frank Pavone had a full calendar during Monday's annual pro-life gathering marking the anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Priests for Life founder: Group 'is in jeopardy'

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Fr. Frank Pavone, the high-profile pro-life priest whose bishop has restricted his ministry because of questions about the finances of the group he runs, told his benefactors in a letter that the organization's existence is in serious doubt.

Pavone, head of Priests For Life, sent a fundraising letter to supporters in early December to tell them that "all of our work at Priests for Life, indeed the very existence of Priests for Life, is in jeopardy."

"Contributions are not nearly where they need to be in order to sustain all that Priests for Life is doing," Pavone writes. "But no matter how much you choose to give, whether a one-time gift of $160 today or a monthly Pledge of at least $27, it is absolutely vital that you respond TODAY" (emphasis included).

Pavone blames "many in the news media -- and sadly even some whom we thought were our friends in the pro-life movement -- to destroy Priests for Life and silence our voice ..."

'Priests for Life needs a massive infusion of contributions...'

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Jerry Horn, senior vice president of Priests for Life (PFL), sent a new desperate plea for money in a letter to donors dated Nov. 4, 2011. According to the letter, many supporters have withdrawn their support of PFL because of the controversy surrounding it. Nonetheless, Horn wants to give "Father" a Thanksgiving Day gift by raising $676,618 for PFL. He asks that the donors rush their gift to him today.

Fr. Frank Pavone, the embattled national director of PFL, was called back to the Amarillo, Texas, diocese by Bishop Patrick Zurek for a period of prayer and reflection. Zurek suspended Pavone from active ministry outside the diocese. Pavone failed to show up for a mid-October meeting with Zurek and is seeking a mediator.

Horn's letter is at least the third urgent fundraising letter in the past eight weeks. The first two letters (dated Sept. 22 and Oct. 14, 2011) were written by Pavone.

Pavone continues to raise money for Priests for Life

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Fr. Frank Pavone, the high-profile, pro-life priest whose bishop has restricted his ministry because of questions about the finances of the group he runs, continues to raise money for the group while reaching out to supporters with Web videos, press releases and endorsements.

Pavone, head of Priests For Life, sent a fundraising letter to supporters Oct. 14 to tell them that "in obedience to my bishop, I am carrying on with our shared pro-life mission." He expresses worry that supporters might be misled by "all the misinformation and outright attacks on me and Priests for Life."

"All I can tell you is that just about everything you're reading or hearing is false. All of it," he wrote.

This is at least Pavone's second fundraising letter since his bishop, Patrick Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, recalled him to the diocese in the Texas panhandle last month because of "persistent questions and concerns" about how Pavone was handling millions of dollars in donations to his organization.

Pavone a no-show at meeting and reason why

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Reporter Karen Smith Welch of the Amarillo Globe-News:

 

Embattled activist priest Frank Pavone did not respond to Bishop Patrick J. Zurek’s public invitation for a private meeting Thursday, the bishop said.

 

Zurek included the invitation in an Oct. 6 statement he issued regarding his demand for greater financial transparency from three anti-abortion charities led by Pavone, the largest of which has drawn donations of $7 million to more than $10 million annually since 2004, according to its tax returns.

The statement said Zurek made the invitation to discuss Pavone’s “spiritual progress during this time of prayer and reflection.”

Zurek’s statement garnered coverage from media and bloggers nationwide due to the prominent role Pavone’s Priests for Life plays in pro-life circles. Pavone, the nonprofit’s international director, makes wide use of television, radio and social media to further his groups’ collective mission, and has apparently continued to do so while restricted to Amarillo.

Pavone pleads with donors for more money

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Fr. Frank Pavone, a high-profile abortion opponent who was reined in by Catholic officials raising questions about his financial dealings, recently mailed a frantic fund-raising letter urging that supporters send his organization "the largest gift you possibly can today."

Pavone, head of the non-profit Priests for Life, sent the Sept. 22 letter after Amarillo, Texas, Bishop Patrick Zurek ordered Pavone to return to the diocese because of "persistent questions and concerns" about how he was handling millions in donations to his organization.

Bishop tries to rein in high-profile pro-life priest

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Just days after prominent antiabortion activist Fr. Frank Pavone was ordered to suspend his work as head of Priests for Life, Pavone and his bishop, Patrick J. Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, were seeking a way out of the tense standoff.

Pavone told reporters in Amarillo that he was seeking to be “incardinated,” or authorized to work, in another diocese, presumably one where he could continue his 18-year role as head of the New York-based Priests for Life.

Diocese: Priests for Life's Fr. Pavone needed in Texas

WASHINGTON -- Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, remains a priest in good standing in the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, said Msgr. Harold Waldow, vicar for clergy in the diocese.

Msgr. Waldow told Catholic News Service Sept. 13 that Bishop Patrick J. Zurek only suspended Father Pavone's ministry outside of the diocese because the well-known pro-life priest is needed for work in Amarillo.

Who is Fr. Frank Pavone?

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The news that Fr. Frank Pavone, founder of Priests for Life, is being recalled to his Amarillo, Texas, home diocese, to answer questions about the financial operations of the pro-life group, may have shocked his followers.

One hopes that this is a misunderstanding and can be cleared up quickly. Goodness knows we've had enough scandal.

For those not familiar with Fr. Pavone, I dipped into the archives of Catholic News Service to find two stories from the recent past about Fr. Pavone and Preists for Life.

From April 29, 2010

 

Pro-life 'freedom rides' set to begin this summer in Birmingham

 

By Catholic News Service

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CNS) -- Calling for an end to the nation's "enslavement to legal abortion," Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life announced April 27 that a series of "freedom rides" for the unborn would begin this summer.

The rides will be nonpartisan, interdenominational and nonviolent and will involve a diverse cross-section of people, Father Pavone said at a news conference in Birmingham's Kelly Ingram Park.

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