The Vatican has defrocked a pro-life, pro-trump Catholic priest who is one of America’s leading pro-life advocates while it tolerates pro-abortion politicians in the highest echelons of the U.S. government.
Fr. Frank Pavone, leader of Priests for Life, an anti-abortion group based in Titusville, was dismissed from the priesthood last month for issuing “blasphemous communications on social media” and for “persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop,” the Catholic News Agency reported on Saturday.
Pavone’s dismissal was announced in a letter from U.S. bishops last Tuesday. But the Vatican had made the decision in mid-November.
Under the ruling, Pavone also has “no possibility of appeal.”
“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,” the Vatican said in a separate statement that was included with the letter. “It was determined that Father Pavone had no reasonable justification for his actions.”
The letter apparently did not detail what Pavone allegedly did.
He initially told CNA he had not been informed of his dismissal. But he addressed the issue on Twitter on Saturday night, saying, “Hi friends… So in every profession, including the priesthood, if you defend the #unborn, you will be treated like them! The only difference is that when we are ‘aborted,’ we continue to speak, loud and clear.”
On Sunday, Pavone issued a statement on the Priests for Life website.
He said in part, “What took so long? This has been the plan of some of the bishops for many years, and what has unfolded has not been dialog, but a one-sided narrative of abuse.”
Pavone then outlined his work through Priests for Life and how that has supported pro-life efforts within the church, from helping Pope Francis himself to parish priests.
He addressed part of the post to Francis directly, saying, You have encouraged me personally in my work, in the several conversations we have had over the years. … Your Holiness, I want to continue serving as a faithful priest and full-time pro-life leader. You can allow me to do so under a supportive bishop, and many of the faithful understand that this is the most reasonable solution.”
The Vatican said it was up to Priests for Life if it wanted to keep Pavone on as national director, a job he has held since 1993.
The CNA noted that Pavone is a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump and other pro-life politicians. He served as a Trump adviser in 2016 and for a brief time in 2020. He also led a group called Catholics for Trump.
In 2020, according to CNA, Pavone reportedly tweeted that Democrat Joe Biden was a “[expletive] loser” and added that the Democratic Party is “God-hating” and “America-hating.”
He also said Biden supporters “can’t say a [expletive] thing in support of their loser candidate without using the word Trump.”
“What the hell do you have to say for yourselves, losers?” Pavone said on social media.
The CNA noted that Pavone also reportedly said on Twitter that he would hear confessions of Catholics who vote for Democrats, but added “we are trained that in the absence of repentance, absolution has to be withheld.”
In a statement, the diocese of Amarillo, Texas, where Pavone serves, said, “These postings are not consistent with Catholic Church Teachings. Please disregard them and pray for Father Pavone.”
Yet while the Vatican has ditched “Mr.” Pavone, as the bishops’ letter referred to him, Rome also has tolerated the pro-abortion positions of Democrats like President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In October 2021, Biden met with Pope Francis at the Vatican and reported afterward that Francis told him he should continue to receive holy communion, which Catholics believe is the consecrated body of Jesus Christ. He also received communion at a mass while in Rome.
During that trip, the Vatican cautioned conservative U.S. bishops against denying Biden communion over his abortion politics once he returned to America.
During a trip to Italy in June, Pelosi actually received holy communion while attending a mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the Vatican.