Father Frank Pavone is an outspoken Trump supporter known for his full-throated support of the former president and his unrepentantly pro-life stance in his position as the national director of Priests for Life.
He’s also now been booted from the priesthood by the Vatican, which announced that Pavone had been dismissed from the priesthood for “blasphemous communications on social media” and “persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop.”
The Catholic News Agency, reporting on Pavone’s dismissal when news of it broke in mid-December of 2022, claimed that:
In a Dec. 13 letter to U.S. bishops obtained by CNA and confirmed by multiple sources as authentic, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, wrote that the prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy issued the decision on Nov. 9, adding that there was “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,” explains a separate statement attached to Pierre’s letter. “It was determined that Father Pavone had no reasonable justification for his actions.”
The same report added that, as of the time CNA obtained the letter and asked Pavone about it, he had not been notified of his dismissal. Writing on Twitter at the time, Pavone said “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.”
Pavone also wrote a letter describing his battle with certain members of the church leadership. In the introduction of the letter, he said:
I have always said to pro-life activists that if you defend the unborn, you will be treated like them.
Just like their very being and legitimacy is denied, so will yours be. Just as they are excluded and
mistreated, so will you be.
We all expect that the pro-abortion groups, like Planned Parenthood, will target, harass and try to
intimidate us. And they do try.
But when such treatment comes from bishops and other Church authorities – which it increasingly
does — it’s particularly deplorable. Instead of supporting and encouraging the pro-life work of the
Church, some of these men try to obstruct and hinder it, and abuse their authority to try to intimidate
priests and laity who make ending abortion the top priority of our lives.
And make no mistake… if they oppose priests like me, it’s because they’re opposing you and the
commitment you have to this cause.
Cancel culture is alive and well in the Catholic Church. I’ve experienced it firsthand. And the
more we are aware of it, the better we will be able to defend ourselves and others from it.
Now I am not one to complain or publicly criticize others. Nor do I want to distract you, my
friends, from the key thing we have to be thinking about and discussing, which is the task of ending
abortion. Nor do I want you to miss the fact that we get a lot of encouraging support for our work,
including from Church leaders.
But to the extent that the actions of certain bishops get in the way of that very mission, I will
speak. And to help our friends who have questions about how we are being treated by these bishops,
and also to refute our enemies who love to make up their own stories about all this, I will speak about
what has transpired so that you have the full story and so that you can help defend me and other priests
The letter did not, however, mention “blasphemy” or what exactly it was that he did that led the Catholic Church to cancel him. The New York Times suggested that certain tweets of his could be to blame, reporting:
On a live broadcast on social media shortly after the report, Mr. Pavone said he had received no communication from the Vatican about his removal. Wearing a leather jacket over his priest’s collar, he said he would continue his work for the anti-abortion cause.
“I’ve been persecuted in the church for decades, decades. This is nothing new for me,” he said. “They just don’t like the work I’m doing for these babies.”
He seemed to refer to a comment on Twitter from 2020 in which he referred to “supporters of this goddamn loser Biden and his morally corrupt, America-hating, God hating Democrat party.”
“I used the word G-D in a response to somebody in a tweet and for that they want to throw me out of the priesthood,” he said.
The letter about his removal makes no specific reference to this incident, or to abortion beyond his affiliation.
As could be expected, more conservative members of the Catholic Church were furious over Pavone’s dismissal and the “blasphemy” excuse for it given by the church. Bishop J. Strickland, for example, took to Twitter to voice his displeasure, saying:
The blasphemy is that this holy priest is canceled while an evil president promotes the denial of truth & the murder of the unborn at every turn, Vatican officials promote immorality & denial of the deposit of faith & priests promote gender confusion devastating lives…evil
Despite the cancelation, Pavone has stayed anti-left on Twitter. On January 1st of 2023, he kicked the new year off by saying
A New Year’s message for the deluded, woke Democrats:
You’re a bunch of losers!
We are taking back our country from you. Most of our fellow Americans despise you.
Go get together with the sick religious leaders (false prophets) who support you.
Stay away from our children.
Father Pavone Image Credit: Priests for Life, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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