Fr. Frank Pavone Should Obey His Bishop

Fr. Frank has been sequestered in a convent cell.

So far, Socon or Bust, has not made too much about what is happening with Fr. Frank Pavone.  But I think a few words are in order…

#1 – As readers know, Socon or Bust has not exactly been the #1 Fan of the Bishops.  In fact, if anything, we have been harshly critical of their gross misconduct and negligence over the past several years over a myriad of issues.  With the Development & Peace abortion scandal, for instance, Socon or Bust called for (and continues to call for) a complete ban on donations to that fraudulent organization which claims to be operating under Catholic principles. This is in direct contradiction to what the bishops have indicated in their blind, dogmatic support of Development & Peace.  How do I justify this?  Simply because to donate to Development & Peace  is a grievous sin (if one knows the facts).  On the other hand, disobeying a lawful order of a bishop to not engage in pro-life ministry is a whole different ball of wax.  Obedience to cease from doing a type of good work is much more important than disobeying a bishop to continue on in that work, especially if you’re a Catholic priest.

#2 – No one individual is responsible for the pro-life movement.  If we put our eggs in one or two or a few baskets, then we really don’t really appreciate that God is the victor and not any one single person.  The pro-life movement will go on without Fr. Pavone or even Priests for Life.  There’s no one individual or organization that is indispensable to the pro-life movement. We need to stop treating them like they are.  As the saying goes, “The graveyards of the world are full of indispensable men, and yet the world goes on just the same.”

#3 – Abortion is a strike against obedience.  It is a repudiation of the obedience to the natural law, the moral law, and the divine law.  Therefore, as a Catholic priest, Fr. Pavone’s willingness to undergo discipline for the sake of obedience will do more harm to abortion in the spiritual realm than most people understand.  The battle of abortion is in the spirit not in the flesh.

Fr. Pavone will do more to bring down abortion in the U.S. and around the world by his act of perfect and complete obedience to his bishop for the sake of the pro-life movement, than he would ever do with public activism.

This is a test of his Faith in God and not his own works.  Let’s pray that he realizes the momentous opportunity that he has in front of him and accepts God’s plan to slay the abortion giant through his obedience, humility, and hiddeness.

Please pray for Fr. Frank.

6 thoughts on “Fr. Frank Pavone Should Obey His Bishop

  1. Please be assured that Fr. Pavone is acting in complete obedience to his ordinary and only seeks to do God’s will in this and all matters. But no one should be so naive as to forget that the enemy attempts to divide us in the effort to prevent us from accomplishing God’s purpose. Let us therefore pray for the bishop and Fr. Pavone as they prepare to discuss the concerns that the bishop claims have warranted this episode.

  2. Good post, this is a tough issue. I too have followed Fr. Pavone for years and look to him for leadership, but I have to agree with you here. His willingness to be obedient is important and, if he isn’t, he loses credibility.

  3. I agree entirely. I can think o some legitimate reasons why a bishop would want to do this. It doesn’t necessarily imply any malice or lukewarmness on his part.

  4. Having just watched the viral Mark Crutcher video in which he describes the conditions under which Fr. Pavone is being held, and the refusal of Bishop Zurek to even give him 24 hours to get personal stuff from home and see his parents, and go to a pre-scheduled Doctor’s appointment in New York… well, everybody has probably seen it by the time you read my comments. ( So let me say this: Behind-the-scenes two things are happening. First, the House of Representatives will vote next week on H.R. 358, the Protest Life Act, which would close the loopholes allowing public funding of abortions, according to Obamacare, directly or indirectly, as well as ensuring the right of conscience of health care workers who are unwilling to participate in abortions is protected under the law, in writing. Now that a primary pro-life spokesman sees his reputation muddied in the media, clearly Fr. Pavone’s activism at this critical, historic moment, is not going to be as effective as it might otherwise have been. Again and again, I have tried to explain to people that there are political considerations behind this whole mess in Amarillo, and it goes beyond antagonizing the IRS, folks. The second behind-the-scenes factor is that Fr. Pavone announced a few days ago that he would be going, in person, to the general conference next month of the USCCB. Subsequently, Bishop Zurek issues yet another statement, rather toned-down. Read between the lines. Anyone can do this.

  5. Let me repeat: Fr. Frank’s obedience is going to do more on the abortion front than any public activism he would do.

    Abortion is not principally a political fight. It’s a spiritual one. Without a spiritual beach-head the political victory will not be secured.

    Fr. Frank’s obedience is going to provide that beach-head which will allow a political victory.

    Let us not be so naive to think we can win this alone, using politics. That’s a very shallow opinion.

    We will never win against political abortion unless we win the spiritual battle first.

    And what Fr. Frank is engaged in with his bishop is where it all starts.

    Obedience to Christ’s Church yields fruit.

  6. Yeah well folks . . . my 2 cents . . . it goes a lil’ deeper than that . . .

    Lux et veritas: Light and truth

    The Pope just appointed a new Papal Nuncio to the USA as we didn’t have one. Maybe none of this would have happened if there was a Nuncio in the 1st place . “The Nuncio has indicated that, in relation to the upcoming elections, he will consult with the bishops and learn from them. We also look forward to the fruitful interaction between the Nuncio and the many organizations, associations, and movements that work to promote political responsibility among the faithful in the United States, and to do so in such a way that is free from unwarranted and crippling fears that take refuge in misrepresentations, often found at the diocesan level, of what the law says Churches may or may not do regarding elections.” In receiving lots of email notices from lately, it was interesting to have come across the following statements (none had called my attention before):

    The Vatican’s Vision of a Bishop: Father, Brother and Friend for the Common Good In exercising his ministry, the Bishop relates to his priests not merely as a ruler towards his subjects, but rather as a father and a friend… The Bishop should encourage a spirit of initiative among his priests, avoiding anything that might lead them to understand obedience in a passive and irresponsible manner. He should ensure that each gives his best and does so generously, placing his own capacities in the service of God and of the Church, with the mature freedom of the sons of God.
    Apostolorum Successores, 76: The Bishop: Father, Brother and Friend of Diocesan Priests

    One of the most misunderstood realities of the Church, both historically and presently, is the Bishop’s relation to the priests and faithful he serves. The Congregation for Bishops in the Vatican has provided a document to clarify precisely this relationship: The Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops Apostolorum Successores. To properly view the current situation between Bishop Patrick Zurek and Father Frank Pavone, this document is crucial to understand the role of the Bishop as the Vatican and the Church herself understand it and NOT as any particular individual – no matter how well known, scholarly, or powerful – desires that it be understood.

    General Principles: Truth, Justice, Use Talents of Your Priests Wisely for the Common Good

    The Vatican says that the Bishop must be guided by certain fundamental principles:
    The Principle of Truth The Bishop must have truth at the heart of his pastoral action. «Pastoral activity is authentic when it is anchored in truth» and thus inauthentic when it is not. (57) A Bishop is not allowed to lie to his priests, lie about his priests, or ruin the good reputation of his priests. Restitution is required if this is done. Further, if a priest provides his bishop with information he requested, and then the bishop cannot claim that he does not have it.

    The Principle of Communion
    The Bishop must promote unity with legitimate diversity: The Bishop should «work
    constantly for the common good of the diocese, mindful that this is subordinated to the good of the universal Church» (58) Priests for Life is a worldwide catalyst for the healing of women and families affected by abortion throughout the world. Countless numbers of children are saved by their efforts everyday. A ministry which greatly benefits the most sensitive pastoral missions of the universal church today – hurting women and mothers,wounded fathers, and unborn children – exemplifies this greater good par excellance.

    The Principle of Cooperation
    The Bishop must involve all Christians in the one mission of the Church. «In fact all
    Christians, individually and collectively, have the right and the duty to cooperate in the mission which Christ entrusted to his Church, each according to his own particular vocation and gifts received from the Holy Spirit.» (59) Father Frank Pavone has been individually gifted with the ability to effectuate great good for salvation of souls and common good in a particular arena: the sanctity of life and the healing of women and men from abortion. Denying the Church and society this gift, by constraining him arbitrarily, does injustice to the Universal Church and especially the women and children who will suffer from this. One only has to ask Jane Roe/Norma McCorvey – whose conversion from the most vivid symbol of abortion in America to now outspoken Pro Life leader was due in a large part to Fr. Frank – to verify this.

    I thought the statements to be fair so I decided to follow the link and read onward. I invite you to do the same .

    I must end by saying: Veritas Omnia Vincit in other words Truth conquers all

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