Fr. Frank Pavone appealing to the Vatican

Read backstory here.

Fr. Pavone has released a statement via An excerpt:

For the past several years, my Ordinary, the Most Reverend Patrick Zurek, Bishop of Amarillo, has given me permission to do the full-time pro-life work that I have done since 1993. In 2005, I made a public promise in a Church ceremony in Amarillo, presided over by a Vatican Cardinal, that this full-time pro-life work would be a lifetime commitment. That’s a commitment I promise to fulfill without wavering.

This past week, however, I received a letter from the Bishop insisting that I report to the Diocese this Tuesday, September 13 and, for the time being, remain only there.

I am very perplexed by this demand…. [H]e has said that he thinks I am giving too much priority to my pro-life work, and that this makes me disobedient to him. He also has claimed that I haven’t given him enough financial information….

Priests for Life has consistently provided every financial document requested by Bishop Zurek, including annual financial audits, quarterly reports, management documents – even entire check registers! Priests for Life has been completely transparent with Bishop Zurek and any other bishops who have requested information regarding our management and finances. Indeed, we have 21 bishops and cardinals who sit on our Advisory Board, and they are kept fully informed about our finances.

Therefore, in the interest of preserving my good reputation as well as protecting the valuable work done by the Priests for Life organization, I have begun a process of appeal to the Vatican. This process aims to correct any mistaken decisions of the bishop in my regard and to protect my commitment to full-time pro-life activity for my whole life. We are very confident that the Vatican will resolve this matter in a just and equitable fashion. Because of this confidence, we are not currently making any changes in any positions at Priests for Life, or in any of our projects and plans.

I also want to point out that, according to the canon law of the Catholic Church, because I have begun this process of appeal to Rome, the Bishop’s order that I return to Amarillo has been effectively suspended. Nevertheless, because of my great respect for this Bishop and my commitment to be fully obedient at all times, I am reporting to Amarillo this Tuesday, in hopes that I can sort this problem out with the Bishop in a mutually agreeable and amicable way.

Go, FP! I so love this guy and his boldness.

32 thoughts on “Fr. Frank Pavone appealing to the Vatican”

  1. I just want to say that I am fully behind Fr. Frank in this and I also very much appreciate his example of humility and obedience to Bishop Zurek as this is resolved. My fellow Catholics would serve Fr. Frank well to offer prayerful support in this and follow Fr. Frank’s obedience and humility, too.

    God bless Fr. Frank and Bishop Zurek.


  2. The Devil and his cohorts must really be hurting to go after very specific clergy….

    First, Fr. Fr. Pavone….

    Let’s keep the faith and pray for ALL priests, folks!!


  3. I am really hoping this doesn’t go the way of Fr. John Corapi. After the shock that was, nothing will surprise me.


  4. Ahh, the enemy is getting VERY nervous!  We are SO stealing all this ground from him – abortuaries closing, directors and workers leaving the killing places, mothers being fully informed of who their babies are in the womb.  “Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish.  You shall seek them and not find them – those who contend with you. Those who war against you shall be as nothing, as a nonexistent thing. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, Fear not, I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:11)


  5. I will pray for you Father Pavone and for your work to continue with PFL.  That is the best thing I can do.


  6. I will keep Father Pavone in my prayers.  I truly appreciate that, in obedience to the Bishop, Fr. Pavone is reporting to Amarillo as requested.


  7. “First, Fr. Fr. Pavone….”

    Until/unless more is known, not even close to the same type of situation.


  8. This sucks. I’m sorry I don’t use that word often but really this sucks. I had no idea about Fr. Eutenauer :( then Fr. Corapi :( now possibly Fr. Pavone?! :( I can’t handle this… they seem to be waaaay after the priests but where’s the excommunications or “no communion for you!” for the pro-abort politicians? They are more concerned about the “scandal” these priests may cause so they go after them (if they are guilty rightfully so) but they ignore the SCANDALOUS comments and acts of the politicians in the spot light… This seems like hardcore hypocrisy to me…


  9. Father Pavone, originally a priest of the Archdicoese of New York, contradicted his vow of obedience to Cardinal Egan by refusing his local Ordinary’s  assignment to a parish.   He relocated to another diocese, where the Vatican rejected his attempt to set up a separate canonical entity,  and now manifests disobedience again.  He will manipulate the heartstrings of his followers, as Corpai did. And significant numbers of his followers (“financial contrbiutors”) will succumb to the Stockholm Syndrome and defend him rather than admit that they were duped. First of all, Priests for LIfe should publish a full accounting of their finances, including salaries for all their staff. (any salaries in six figures?)   –   The Church needs tighter regulations for ad hoc “ministries” run by loose cannons who think they are superior to ordinary parish priests who take seriously their vows to their bishop


  10. Let the bishop have a full accounting, It is his right and duty as bishop.  Father Pavone appointed Anthony de Stefano as Executive Director of Priests for Life and, from his publicity, one photo of which shows him posing in front of a private jet, one wonders what his salary is.  De Stefano has written a series of facile and junvenile books on “spirituality” as a self-appointed theologian.  None of his writings has been repudiated by Priest for life.  His embarrassing “Travel Guide to Heaven” received among other Bronx cheers, this gem on Amazon:
    This is a childish book which contains little theology and lots of speculation.The author views heaven as an earthly paradise where all his physical needs and desires will be satisfied. It is compared to a vacation and Disneyland, to traveling around the world.You will have your favorite pet in heaven, there will be sex or something far better there. Heaven is a pie in the sky, a fullfillment of all your human desires.What the author has failed to grasp is that pleasure does not exist for its own sake: While it is pleasurable to eat, pleasureable to sleep and pleasurable to have sex, pleasure is not the purpose behind the acts.
    God has attached pleasure to the things he wants us to do because of their usefulless to us:
    Surviving and staying healthy (eating), resting our bodies and minds (sleeping), creating lifelong bonds between spouses and having children (…). The pleasure exists for the sake of the purpose.
    The chapter on marriage is also problematic. The author tries to dodge a clear statement of Jesus which is a “problem” for his pie in the sky.
    The Sadducees ask Jesus a question. A woman is married and her husband dies. She marries his brother and he dies. This happens seven times and finally she dies. Which husband will she have in heaven? Jesus answer is that there is no marriage in heaven, people live like the angels. (Matt 22:23-31)
    The book’s “solution” is to say that there is no longer a marriage, but the relationship itself continues.
    This doesn’t solve anything. With the Sadducees we could ask Jesus, “with whom will she continue in a marriage like relationship?”
    Would Jesus answer suddenly change into something like “all seven of them”? Of course not! Marriage is not a mere word, it is a concept and a description of a relationship. His words are clear, there will be no such thing in heaven.
    Heaven is spiritual, it is relational. It is about being perfected selfless persons who are in unity with God and each other. It is about beholding God in an eternal vision. It is a state completely different from our current experiences. And we see very little of this heaven in the book.
    A better book is written on the subject by Peter Kreeft: “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Heaven, but Never Dreamed of Asking”. Get that one instead.


  11. As far as Anthony goes, he seems to me like an author who earns from his book sales. That logical leap from his salary to books seems like to right leap however let’s remember that no matter how terrible of a book anyone might think a book is, it’s sales can still be tremendous as proven by many of the other books out on the market today. The part that I don’t understand is the part where we are forgetting that Anthony works for Priests For Life and… collects a royalty from his published books. Also, isn’t he a pilot?

    But let’s focus on the topic at hand. The Bishop says he’s never received the audits when “the PFL” seems to have documented evidence supporting that they regularly send their audits to the Bishop and their board of clergy up and ups. Yes Fr. Pavone is the bishop’s duty, but not “the PFL” but if the Bishop receives something, it is a right that the Bishop doesn’t seem to think is even worth of acknowledgement. Actually from what I can see is going on right now, Fr. Pavone flew to Amarillo to answer his call of obedience when the Bishop asked for him, but the Bishop flew to Rio de Janeiro. Is he playing a game? Is it normally like this? Because then it must cost a fortune of money from “the PFL” for Fr. Pavone to fly to Brazil to answer a simple call of obedience. If the money isn’t spent, then he’s in disobedience. If the money is spent, it’s being a bad steward. Doesn’t seem to reasonable to me.

    PS. Anthony isn’t the Executive Director…


  12. Jim Cator wrote (among other things):
    Let the bishop have a full accounting, It is his right and duty as bishop.

    Do you have some evidence, above and beyond the evidence supplied by Fr. Pavine and the PFL canonist (which was carbon-copied to over a dozen bishops), which state (and show) rather plainly that the bishop did have a “full accounting”, but never so much as acknowledged it?


  13. Audit CCHD rather than PFL. I am increasing my monthly donation to PFL. I also tithe to my local parish but never give to CCHD because of it’s dubious dissemination of monies to organizations that in turn are associated with pro-death organizations (Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc, etc,).


  14. He may have made a ‘public promise’ to be engaged in pro-life ministry full-time, but he made a sacred vow of obedience.  That needs to be remembered.

    It’s been said that the first letter in the Catholic alphabet is O–for obey.  

    For the record, I’ve met Fr. Frank, I like him, and I don’t think he’s guilty of any wrongdoing.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t think that he needs to remember his priestly vow of obedience.

    The pro-life movement is bigger than any one man, no matter how instrumental that man may be.


  15. Ann,
    That’s part of the main point: Fr. Pavone has been, by all accounts (save for the rather petulant and unsubstantiated account of the bishop), completely obedient; when summoned, he came; when asked to supply documents, he did; when told to do thus-and-so service, he did.  Even his appeal to the Vatican is completely in accord with holy obedience (think of the absurdity of a world where an appeal was, by definition, “disobedient”!  Appeals would all be null and void!).  Everything that I’ve seen about this situation–especially including the intemperate and uncharitable letter by the bishop–leads me to think that there’s something rotten in Denmark… and that it’s not on the side of Fr. Pavone.  (I say this as one who fully acknowledges the wrongdoing of Fr. Euteneuer, and who thinks that Fr. Corapi is being flagrantly disobedient and wrong-headed.)


  16. I totally agree with Paladin. Fr. Pavone has been  consistently obedient to his Bishop. And comparing the situations of Fr. Euteneuer and Fr. Corapi with Fr. Pavone is like comparing apples and oranges.


  17. Once again, we are seeing the corrupting influence of the cult of personality.  The bishop is the successor of the Apostles, not Frank Pavone.  Pavone’s response above is repugnant, even if he is completely innocent.  The proper response of a man of God would be “I will not speak of this to anyone except my bishop, and I will abide by his decision unequivocally except in the case where he violates the teaching of the Church and/or canon law.”
    That’s what a man of God would do.  Good Catholics would side with the successor of the Apostles, or better, not follow after this sort of nonsense.


  18. George, I believe Father Pavone is a man of God. Do you think he is ? I read his response to the Bishop carefully and it is certainly not “repugnant”. I feel that your attack on Fr. Pavone is “repugnant”. He is obeying his Bishop and responded to the Bishop’s PUBLIC statement publicly. Hello ?


  19. George, it is obvious how little respect you have for priests when you refer to Father Pavone as “Pavone”. “Cult of personality” ? I don’t worship or idolize FATHER Pavone, but I certainly respect his (and other priests who work for PFL) work in saving the lives of babies. I’m curious, do you see the pro-life issue as a foundational issue or ….. ?


  20. Dear Father Frank,

    Be assured of my thoughts and prayers as you wait upon your meeting with your Bishop regarding your continued efforts in Priests for Life.  I just wanted to say that I think you should concentrate more on promoting pro life efforts in the area/state where you live – so that travelling is limited and donators are not supporting Staffers travelling expenses, but rather donating money to save lives – like baby Joseph from Canada – and here because of the serious medical ramifications, flying baby Joseph and his parents from Canada to America and then back to Canada was correct, but trips around the world for Priests for Life for either yourself or your staff has no medical ramifications and does not require the same urgency.   I noticed in a bus tour Priests for Life organized this year, that the people donating money to Priests for Life were asked to use their own vehicles and their own gas while Priest for Life Staffers travelled in luxury buses, paid for by the generous support of faithful donators.   The donators belong to Priests for Life – they should be sitting in those buses as well.  Or Father Frank, everyone could get together and carpool – five people or so per vehicle – including Priest for Life Staffers.  Why were those supplying the much needed financial support not sitting in the Priests for Life buses?  A question Priests for Life and oh so many charitable organizations have to ask themselves when it comes to the way their organizations are run.  They are run as non-profit (not for profit) organizations, but all too often in our money hungry (crazed) world, those who are on their payroll are certainly yielding far too many financial benefits from the generous support of their donators and volunteer workers with less support going towards mothers and their babies (in the pro life ministry), for whom the organizations were actually set up!

    Father Frank, Priest for Life should follow Jesus Christ’s example – He did not travel far and wide, but reached millions, because He sent out His Discriples and the Disciples too had helpers.  Priests for Life should do the same thing.  I have always felt that Priests for Life was becoming too secular in their fund raising efforts, always running the great risk of allowing the donations to be more important than serving God with whatever they have available – their faith, their loving hearts, their concern for the unborn, their prayers asking God to send them many helpers who like them, would go out into the world in their own states, allowing you to remain in your state and do everything possible to promote life from conception to a natural death.  Priests for Life constantly sending out emails asking for money (or any charitable organization) puts out a message, much like our politicians (whether they be Republicans or Democrates) who want as much money as possible – believing this is what drives their success.   Let us all remember that as Christians, we are “in this world” but not “of this world”.  Let each of us do what we can to promote God’s Commandments, but not at the risk of becoming money hungry (which can turn into greed when not tempered) and invite others to help us serve God.  No charitable organization serving God’s people should be so dependent on having more and more money – as if whatever they have is never (not) enough.  Charitable organizations need to be more about serving God with what He has provided them – no matter how simple, no matter how meek – He provides us with what we need – if that is not enough, then we are going to start serving our own wants and aspirations and not God’s.  We should not let money be the core of our operation.  We should be relying more on the generousity and faithfulness of God’s people to use their God-given talents to serve in Charitable organizations.   Encouraging the faithful (or those seeking God) to allow God to use them as His instruments should be a Charitable Organizations goal and not praying that they are in the black at the end of a fiscal year.  In what way are Christians different than any secular group if this is where their hearts and thoughts lie?

    Father Frank, you have mentioned possibly starting your own Community (Order) so that you can continue to put all your Priestly efforts into travelling the world for Priests for Life.  God needs you in one State/City to minister to, guide and watch over (protect) His flock. The Catholic Church is in need of good Priests (and you are a good Priest) to administer the Holy Sacraments, the Church offers her believers so that they may grow in their faith and come to perfection before their early life ends.  Your work as a Parish Priest (for perhaps more than one or two Parishes) is so very much needed, so very much more than your travelling the world over for Priests for Life.  And you could still serve “Priests for Life” within the Parishes you minister to. There are many responsible lay people and Priests in each State/City who are as dedicated as you are to promoting life in our culture.  The money Priests for Life is doling out for travelling is not necessary when more workers are hired to help you.  Don’t allow Priests for Life to become a small empire (of Staffers) lead by Father Frank Pavone, but rather an enormous eternal Kingdom of believers whose leader is Jesus, who is The Way, The Truth and The Life and our Savior, who will save His Father’s Creation from their sinful ways.

    Think seriously about being a role model now by obeying your Bishop and serving God as a Parish Priest to one or many Parishes at a time when the Church hungers for Shepherds to feed God’s flock.  God has blessed you with the gift of Preaching, and how our Parish Churches are in such dire need of hearing your words – feed God’s flock, Father Frank.  He will continue to bless you and Priests for Life.  Of this you can be confident.  Let go of the affection and stronghold you have for Priests for Life and let God be the desire of your affection and be your stronghold!  Priest for Life will continue to be blessed by you humbly serving God as a consecrated Priest in one or more Parishes and by continuing to help Priests for Life volunteers all over the world through your pro life efforts within your own Parish (Parishes).

    Your friend in Christ Jesus,
    Tori Grillo


  21. Such a personal letter posted here to a Fr. Pavone?

    Tori says, “There are many responsible lay people and Priests in each State/City who are as dedicated as you are to promoting life in our culture.”

    Really?  Then why is abortion still legal, Tori?  Where have all these responsible and dedicated lay people and priests been hiding the last 40 years?

    Tori also says, “God needs you in one State/City to minister to, guide and watch over (protect) His flock. The Catholic Church is in need of good Priests (and you are a good Priest) to administer the Holy Sacraments, the Church offers her believers so that they may grow in their faith and come to perfection before their early life ends.  Your work as a Parish Priest (for perhaps more than one or two Parishes) is so very much needed, so very much more than your travelling the world over for Priests for Life.

    But I thought there were so many responsible priests in each State/City, Tori?  Surely these priests will continue to guide and watch over their flocks so that Fr. Pavone can continue to reach out to us lay persons (many who were happy and relieved to <strong>finally</strong> learn there was actually a priest that was willing to address abortion.  Many faithful Catholics have not heard a priest bring up abortion in decades).

    How do you know this Tori? Do you know what women and children are going through in China and you want Fr. Pavone’s work limited to one or two parishes? Do you have a direct line to God and He told you where Fr. Pavone is more needed? Since you state Fr. Pavone is a good priest, I would think you have more trust in his following what God’s will is for him and be proud of the work he has done for Christ (and in turn for women and children).

    I smell smoke and think Tori protests WAY too much.

    I wholeheartedly support and thank Fr. Pavone for all he has done to address the abortion travesty in our world.  Thank you Father Pavone. Please know that there are many of us who love you and are praying for you.


  22. The person calling himself “Epistles of Barnabus” has 14 likes for his statement re “Father” Pfleger the heretic vs Father Pavone ? I think the vote has been rigged. Too bad there’s not a way to vote “dislike” rather than “like”. And Tori Grillo is incorrect about not letting Fr. Pavone travel or other PFL priests travel. I am going to double my donation to Priests for Life because they are VERY responsible with the money given to them. And Fr. Pavone is being obedient to his Bishop and treats him with respect.


  23. Boo.  Free Friar Pavone, and send him to Cabo San Lucas, with Friar Pfleger, for a much-needed vacation!!


  24. Fallili Ferzip – there is absolutely no comparison between Father Pavone and Pfleger. Next, you’ll compare Fr. Pavone with Fr. Corapi. TOTALLY different issues involved with these priests.


  25. I will say a prayer that Fr. Pavone succeeds in his appeal at the Vatican, as this Bishop is totally out of touch with the Catholic traditions going back for many, many centuries. I come from a family that has deep Catholic roots with an ancestor who is a major authority on church history and dogmas of the faith, Fr. John Laux. When the issue of the day is dealing with around 4,000 abortions each day, it is essential for the Priest For Life organization to have at it’s helm the leader of Fr. Pavone and not some other liberal freak that will seek to ruin this fine organization. Personally if I was the Pope, I would remove from office and the church leadership this corrupt Bishop that is not serving God but who is playing an ego game with the institution of the church itself. The Holy scriptures tell us on issues directly dealing with the commandments of God, we are to obey God and not obey man. This Bishop is wanting the worship for himself, which runs contrary to all of what Jesus Christ represented.


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