Priests for Life

Pro-life priest seeks mediation with Texas bishop

WASHINGTON -- Saying that communication has broken down between Bishop Patrick J. Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, and himself, pro-life activist Father Frank Pavone is seeking mediation to resolve differences stemming from questions over the financial operations of Priests for Life.

"The communication and the trust has deteriorated so much," Father Pavone told Catholic News Service Oct. 18. "Obviously, the first normal response that anyone should and would have is let's talk. ... The power of dialogue is very strong in the church and in the Gospel.

"But this is the case where there has been a very consistent and persistent pattern of distorted and selective communication," said Father Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. "After a while one has to say this just isn't working. That's why the natural conclusion is we need a mediator."

Father Pavone's comments came five days after he decided not to attend an Oct. 13 meeting called by Bishop Zurek. The priest said he declined to meet with the bishop on advice of his canon lawyer, Father David L. Deibel.

Pavone a no-show at meeting and reason why


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


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


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?


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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