COMMENTARY: Catholics are asking why Frank Pavone was given such a severe penalty, especially when other malefactors are not dismissed from the priesthood.
The year ended with a double helping of distressing news.
Just as Catholics were reeling from the news of the “gruesome” abuse by Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik, compounded by appalling oversight by the highest levels of the Society of Jesus, the earthquake of Father Frank Pavone’s laicization hit.
Pavone, head of Priests for Life, was dismissed from the clerical state apparently at the request of Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo, Texas. The dismissal was approved by Pope Francis, meaning that no appeal is possible.
Pavone himself asked, “What took so long?” in response to the news, as Bishop Zurek has been trying to laicize him for more than five years for contumacious disobedience. Pavone desired to devote himself to full-time work for Priests of Life, a secular corporation, based in Orlando, Florida, where he lives, rather than work in the Diocese of Amarillo on an assignment from Bishop Zurek. The bishop and priest could not, over many years, make an arrangement, and so Bishop Zurek sought, and obtained, Pavone’s dismissal.
Given that permanent dismissal is the most serious penalty a priest can face — excommunications, in comparison, are intended to be lifted after repentance is made — Catholics are asking why Pavone was given such a severe penalty, especially when other malefactors are not dismissed from the priesthood…Pavone’s Dismissal Could Have Been Avoided| National Catholic Register