According to a correspondence from The Vatican, pro-life Priests for Life founder Father Frank Pavone, 63, was defrocked by Pope Francis’ Vatican, claiming Pavone posted “blasphemous communications on social media” while citing his “persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop.”
A letter from U.S. Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre, “I have been informed by the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy that, on 9 November 2022, a Supreme Decision admitting of no possibility of appeal directed that Rev. Frank Pavone be dismissed from the clerical state.”
“As you will know, Father Pavone was a very public and high profile figure associated with the Right to Life Movement in the U.S. His dismissal from the clerical state may, therefore, be a matter of interest among the faithful. In anticipation of that potential interest, the attached statement regarding Frank Pavone is provided for your information, and for release within your (arch)diocese as and if you deem appropriate. The attached statement has been approved by the Dicastery for the Clergy.”
The statement claimed, “Rev. Frank Pavone, the founder of the organization, Priests for Life, Inc., was dismissed from the clerical state by the Holy See on 9 November 2022. 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.”
“Father Pavone was given ample opportunity to defend himself in the canonical proceedings, and he was also given multiple opportunities to submit himself to the authority of his diocesan bishop. It was determined that Father Pavone had no reasonable justification for his actions. Since Priests for Life, Inc. is not a Catholic organization, Mr. Pavone’s continuing role in it as a lay person would be entirely up to the leadership of that organization.”
It is unclear what specific charges Pavone was laicized under. The Catholic News Agency wrote, “Pavone’s sudden laicization has shocked many Catholics and pro-life advocates. It also raises a host of still-unanswered questions about his case. Among them: What are the specific canonical crimes with which Pavone was charged? And when, and how, was he notified he is no longer a priest? Pavone, for his part, claims that he had no prior notification about the Vatican’s action until contacted by CNA on Dec. 17. Is this plausible?”
According to the “Modern Catholic Dictionary” by Father John Hardon, SJ, “blasphemy” is defined as “Speaking against God in a contemptuous, scornful, or abusive manner. Serious contemptuous ridicule of the saints, sacred objects, or of persons consecrated to God is also blasphemous because God is indirectly attacked.”
Pavone responded to the announcement, saying to Life News, “I have made an irrevocable commitment to defend the unborn and to be a priest. I will not walk away from either one.”
“Ultimately, this is about how the Church will respond to abortion, and whose view of this battle will hold sway in the Catholic Church and beyond. It’s about whom the Church wants to punish: Pro-abortion politicians or pro-life priests. It’s about whom the Church wants to abort: Babies in the womb, or priests who defend them,” he added.
It is unclear why the pro-life priest was charged and defrocked under such accusations, while heretical priests such as leftist Father James Martin are still allowed to spew heretical anti-Catholic doctrines. These include statements supporting transgenderism for children and sharing blasphemous depictions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, among other examples.
To sign a petition from Life Site News asking the Pope to reverse his decision against Father Pavone, click here.