So many things to write about, from my promised follow-up to the horrific murder of eight-year-old Thomas Valva by his NYPD cop father, to my recent piece on the George Santos scandal, to articles still in the works on the deaths of Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal George Pell.
Meanwhile, the ongoing controversy over the laicization of Father Frank Pavone, founder and long-time head of Priests for Life, also merits attention. While I want to take some time to formulate my thoughts on this matter, John Lando, a regular reader and commenter and a long-time pro-life activist on Long Island, has submitted the following guest commentary. These are John’s views, I will offer mine in a future post. His piece is thoughtful and thought-provoking, and I am happy to share it and invite your comments.
REV. FRANK PAVONE
By John Lando
The two documents made available as the edict and the rationale for the “laicization” of Father Frank Pavone are indicative of what has gone wrong with the Roman Catholic Church.
Jesus selected several individuals from the masses, many illiterate, for the foundation of His church on earth. He didn’t enlist bureaucrats or lawyers. The penchant for structure and rigid adherence to rules and regulations is foreign to my image of a loving, forgiving God. His position on performing miracles or extracting animals from entrapment on the sabbath is an example. Peter, His choice for the “rock” was reported to be a headstrong individual, but with human failings. He did deny Christ even after he swore stalwart allegiance.
Without intimate knowledge of all the details that culminated in Father Pavone’s removal from the clergy, I can only express my opinion and that of many of my associates and acquaintances. In light of other actions and lack of actions from the kludge of organizations within the Vatican, Father Pavone’s treatment seems harsh and excessive. The preoccupation with title of “Priest”, the prefix of “Reverend” etc. seems almost pedantic, if not preposterous.
Dependence on manufactured concepts like “statute of limitations”, which has frequently been dismissed or ignored, seem to be employed to enable a specific action and to justify prior inaction. Several sources have referenced the contrasting treatment of another member of the clergy who, although guilty of many more heinous offenses, has been appointed to prestigious positions within the Vatican. That individual was not confronted or punished, ostensibly because the statute of limitations prescribed interval had expired.
Like Peter and the other individuals that Jesus originally chose, the current Pope and those members of the various groups that engineered Father Pavone’s “irrevocable” sentence are mere mortals; humans. I posit that, upon serious reflection, our reigning pontiff might be convinced to recall the previous proclamations and create a resolution more in keeping with the spirit of Our Lord and His selected leader of the clergy and the entire church, “The Body of Christ.”
Father Pavone, despite his human failings, has been a bulwark against the proponents of abortion, a voice against euthanasia and a promoter of forgiveness and healing. His zeal is for causes other than corporate-like advancement or alignment with bastions of power and popularity. Although Jesus acknowledged the need for respect of the holy enclaves, He did drive the money lenders from the temple and He often admonished the Pharisees.