Vatican Defrocks Pro Life Priest Frank Pavone

Vatican Defrocks Pro Life Priest Frank Pavone

Vatican Defrocks Pro Life Priest Frank Pavone

In a shock to the Catholic pro-life community, the Vatican defrocked — or laicized — Father Frank Pavone, a longtime activist on behalf of human life.

In writing this, I feel a bit out of my lane here. I am, and always have been, pro-life. But as a lifelong Lutheran, I don’t know how the mechanics of the Vatican work. However, my church, the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, has walked arm-in-arm for decades with the Catholic church to support unborn babies. And I always saw Catholics as my fellow Christians in arms to defend life.

So it came as a shock to me when I read that Fr. Frank Pavone is, well, no longer Father Pavone. And it also came as a shock to LifeSite News, too.


The Vatican Doesn’t Tell Us Why

On Sunday morning, the New York Times reported that the Vatican had removed the “incendiary” leader of Priests for Life. A letter that Pope Francis’s representative, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, sent to the United States read:

“This action was taken after Father Pavone was found guilty in canonical proceedings of blasphemous communications on social media, and of persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop.”

On top of that, the Vatican said that there is no possibility of appeal, either.

However, the letter didn’t name the bishop, the disobedience, nor describe the blasphemy. As Fr. Pavone (yes, I’ll still call him Father) told the NYT:

“I’m waiting for them to point out to me what I did wrong that merits something like this.”

But the National Catholic Reporter says they know why.

Calling Fr. Pavone a “right wing provocateur,” the NCR said he “for years defied requests from the Vatican and multiple U.S. bishops to stop engaging in partisan political advocacy inconsistent with his role as a member of the Catholic clergy.”

Other offenses the NCR name include urging Catholics not to vote for pro-abortion Hillary Clinton in 2016. Pavone also released a video showing him place an unborn baby in a jar on an altar. And, perhaps worst of all to the NCR, “he has denied the 2020 U.S. presidential results and spread false lies that Joe Biden did not lawfully win the presidential election.”

I don’t deny the results of the 2020 election, nor do I support Donald Trump. Moreover, while Lutheran theology proscribes clergy from endorsing candidates or parties, I can’t speak for Catholic theology.

But it seems to me that this is a distraction from what really irritates the Vatican about Fr. Pavone. It’s not that he’s political, it’s that he expresses the wrong political opinions.

I imagine some of the Vatican movers and shakers — perhaps even Pope Francis himself — echoing the words of the English king Henry II about Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury:

“Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

Henry’s men assassinated Thomas Becket in 1170 while the cleric was at prayer. I guess Fr. Pavone can be thankful for keeping his life.

Vatican Fr. Frank Pavone

Martyrdom of St. Thomas à Becket. Lawrence OP/flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.


Look Whom the Vatican Has No Problem With

The Vatican Powers-That-Be don’t want to associate with the likes of Fr. Frank Pavone. But as a good Catholic friend of mine pointed out on Facebook, look whom they think is just fine and dandy.

Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin goes against everything the Church teaches about homosexuality. But apparently that’s okay.

In 2019, Martin tweeted this:

“Interesting: “Where the Bible mentions [same-sex sexual] behavior at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether the biblical judgment is correct. The Bible sanctioned slavery as well and nowhere attacked it as unjust..

He also referred to traditional Catholics as “homophobic” and “close-minded:”

“But I have a hard time imagining how even the most traditionalist, homophobic, close-minded Catholic cannot look at my friend and say, “That is a loving act. And that is a form of love that I don’t understand, but that I have to reverence.”

He also called for Pope Francis to create a civil union law in the Church:

“This is a major step forward in the church’s support for LGBTQ people. Pope Francis: “What we have to create is a civil union law,” he said. “That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”

Flouting the Church’s teachings on homosexuality is okay for the current Vatican, apparently. Standing up for the unborn as a priest? Not so much.


Catholics Who Stood Up to Tyranny

Fr. Frank Pavone is not likely to go to his death for his beliefs, but there have been devout Catholics who have squared off against tyranny and paid that price.

Like the Polish priest, St. Maximillian Kolbe, who concealed Jews from the Gestapo and died in Auschwitz as a result. Catholic Christoph Probst, a member of the student anti-Nazi group “White Rose,” met his end via a guillotine. And Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, who was executed for his part in a failed assassination attempt on Adolph Hitler, was a devout Catholic.

Talk about “incendiary” Catholics.

Yes, Hitler and the Nazis are the prime poster images of the Ultimate Evil. But so is abortion — yes, I said it. Fr. Frank Pavone is paying the price for championing the unborn and opposing abortion. Because the Vatican just had to rid themselves of a turbulent priest.


Featured image: Screenshot/@TeresaTomeo/Twitter.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Scott says:

    “pope” Francis is just as much a pretender to his officer as is Pedo Joe. He is no Catholic, he is a socialist Seems to me the bible says something about the rise of the anti-Christ… Francis seems a good candidate for that role. This is why he attacks someone who stands for life (and what the bible teaches) and stands with sodomites and others who deny it.

  • Cameron says:

    SJ = Society of Jesus. Seems that Jesuits only give lip service to being Catholic.

  • GWB says:

    The Bible sanctioned slavery as well and nowhere attacked it as unjust.
    Not entirely true. The Israelites were told to not make their brothers into slaves, and God made slavery within Israel a limited thing. He also provided mechanisms for redemption under slavery.

    Slavery is condemned within Scripture in the same way death is condemned – something that is not good, and not as intended, but something that constrains life and should be dealt with in a manner that glorifies God. It’s only modern progressive man who has outright banned slavery because he was rich enough to do so. (AND indentured servitude, too.)

    That is a loving act.
    Well, I can certainly say that isn’t true. And it’s condemned because it’s against God’s will for man. Pretty clearly at that. So, to claim it as a “loving act” is to outright call God a liar. (Which is what got us into this in the first place. Genesis 3:1)

    The lack of support for absolute moral standards by the Roman hierarchy is why they suffer so. They do not glorify God, but themselves. Keep yourself strong in the Word and resist all who would throw shade at God.

  • Anna A says:

    My source for this is from the comment section of Life Site News (and one of it’s leaders/management).

    One of the complaints about Fr. Pavone was that he wasn’t willing to meet with his bishop. He was willing to, but wanted a canon lawyer and a mediator with him. The bishop wanted a 1 on 1, with the priest forbidden to talk about the conversation. I cannot blame him for not doing what the bishop wanted.

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