Father Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, has arrived in Texas to be obedient to the call from Amarillo Bishop Patrick J. Zurek of the Diocese of Amarillo to return to the Catholic diocese where he is a priest.
As LifeNews.com has reported, Bishop Zurek has called Pavone back to serve in the diocese and has temporarily prevented him from exercising his duties as the head of Priests for Life. Zurek alleges, with little supporting evidence, that there are financial irregularities at Priests for Life despite annual audits from one of the nation’s top accounting firms.
The Catholic official also contends Pavone has an ego derived from his position as the head of the pro-life organization and the way in which pro-life Catholics nationwide and worldwide have celebrated Father Pavone that he contends has made it so Pavone is unwilling to accept discipline, leadership, or instruction from him. Yet, as Pavone’s decision to honor the request to return to Texas proves, he is ready and willing to be obedient to the bishop under whom he serves as someone obedient to his promises to the Catholic Church.
Yet, at the same time, Pavone is fighting this request from Bishop Zurek, which make it virtually impossible for hm to carry out the pro-life mission for which God has called him and to which the Vatican and countless Catholic bishops, priests and faithful are supportive.
Father Pavone shared the following update with LifeNews today about his travel to Texas and the support he has received from the pro-life community — from both Catholic and evangelical leaders and organizations:
I am now in Amarillo – as obedience requires — for my temporary visit as matters with my bishop are worked out. The expression of support from pro-life leaders and activists has been constant and strong. They know that as large ministries in the Church grow, they inevitably have times of conflict with local Church authority. As long as the situation is handled with humility and obedience, combined with an unwavering commitment to the mission at hand, it works out in the right way. In this case, it will make Priests for Life and the whole pro-life movement much stronger, and will confirm me in the permanent, lifelong commitment I have to spend every moment of my time and every ounce of my energy defending the unborn from abortion.
Along with all the prayers that are being offered, I know we are all benefiting from the prayers of three people in particular, who are interceding from heaven: Blessed John Paul II, Blessed Mother Teresa, and Cardinal John O’Connor.
I knew all three of them personally. Each of them helped me to shape Priests for Life into what it is today. Each of them taught me how to be a pro-life leader and a faithful priest. Each of them gave me immense personal encouragement through our conversations, through the doors that they opened for me and the ministry, and through the guidance they gave.
May everyone in the Church, clergy and laity alike, learn from their total commitment to ending abortion, and follow their example in striving for that goal.