FILE – Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life, gives the Homily during a mass at Ave Maria University’s Oratory in Naples, Fla., on March 31, 2009 to recognize the fourth anniversary of Terri Schiavo’s death. The Vatican has defrocked an anti-abortion U.S. priest, Frank Pavone, for what it said were “blasphemous communications on social media” as well as “persistent disobedience” of his bishop. A letter to U.S. bishops from the Vatican ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Christophe Pierre, obtained Sunday Dec. 18, 2022, said the decision against Pavone, who heads the anti-abortion group Priests for Life, had been taken Nov. 9, and that there was no chance for an appeal. (Greg Kahn/Naples Daily News via AP, File) Greg Kahn/AP
Defrocked priest Frank Pavone speaks out after Vatican dismissal
Misty Severi December 19, 06:30 PM December 19, 06:30 PM Video Embed
Defrocked Catholic priest Frank Pavone spoke out on Monday against the Vatican’s recent decision to remove him from the priesthood, claiming he would continue his work in the Catholic Church and appeal to the “people of God.”
Pavone, a supporter of former President Donald Trump and an anti-abortion advocate, was dismissed from the priesthood on Nov. 9 in a move called defrocking. However, no word of the decision was known until a Dec. 13 letter to U.S. bishops from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, was leaked to the media on Saturday.
“Some in the Church have been trying to silence my voice for 20 years. It will not work. This is not just an attack on me, but an effort by forces both inside and outside the Church to intimidate every courageous pro-life priest and lay activist.” Pavone said in a statement. “We see this in the arrests of pro-life advocates and the lack of response from law enforcement in more than 100 attacks against pro-life organizations. We see this when some religious leaders provide cover for pro-abortion politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. And we see it when some priests who violate canon law and also break civil law are supported while others, including myself, are chastised and ostracized for working to protect the unborn.”
Pavone claimed he had no knowledge of the Vatican’s decision until the Catholic National Register asked him about it on Saturday. Upon hearing the news, Pavone conducted a live questioning for his parish and canceled Sunday’s Mass. However, he assured people that his work would continue.
“I have made an irrevocable commitment to defend the unborn and to be a priest. I will not walk away from either one,” Pavone said.
The letter of his dismissal claimed that he had been “blasphemous on social media” and was persistently disobedient to his bishop. Pavone responded that the allegations of blasphemy were only the latest in a string of accusations that some left-leaning bishops have used to attack him.
The letter also stated that there could be no appeal to the decision, to which Pavone said he would appeal to the “people of God.”
Pavone has still not received a letter that notifies him of his reported laicization, according to his anti-abortion group, Priests for Life. Pavone is currently the national director of the organization and has been a priest for 34 years.
Pavone has been known for helping convert high-profile figures to the Catholic faith. He was involved in the confirmation of Norma McCorvey, known as “Jane Roe,” from the historic Roe v. Wade case. With the help of Pavone, McCorvey became an advocate for the anti-abortion cause.
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