What has brought this issue to a head has been questions surrounding funds that were raised in the Church’s name, and the use of those funds by Fr.Pavone. The Diocese is very careful to say that Fr. Pavone is not be accused of any wrong doing, they are just gathering information. But if this was indeed the case why did Bishop Zurek feel a need to contact his fellow bishops nationally by letter informing them that Fr. Pavone has been asked to return to his home diocese of Amarillo, and expressing concern about Fr. Pavone’s arrogance.
Bishops Zurek is now being pressured by a group of pro life leaders in an open letter which supports Fr. Pavone against his Bishop. The letter seems to support the idea that a Bishop should not be concerned with the priests integrity when it comes to raising funds in the name of the Church if it is connected with abortion. The open letter goes on to say “Father Pavone is also a wise man, and he has surrounded himself with top-level advisors whom he depends on to help him maximize the effectiveness of his pro-life ministry. He does not bury his talents or hide his lamp under a bushel, but fearlessly proclaims the Gospel of Life from the housetops.
The letter gushes with emotionalism, and walks over the facts surrounding this matter. When Fr. Pavone submitted financial information for Priests for Life, he failed to do so for two other affiliated nonprofit groups, Rachel’s Vineyard and Missionaries of the Gospel of Life and these seem the focus of concern.
Fr. Pavone even went as far as saying, the bishop sent a letter to the U.S. bishops accusing him of disobedience and demanding that he return immediately
Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Baltimore said he supports Bishop Zurek’s decision
Clearly the open letter has totally missed the mark, and we support the Bishop when it comes to his right to guide his priests and keep them accountable for their actions, and fund raising efforts in the name of the church.
We are also calling on ETWN not air any further programs including Fr. Pavone until this matter has been resolved.
Obliviously there are issues of ego, and accountability at play, but who is in the right? The Rainbow Sash Movement believes the Bishop is in charge of his diocese, and that Fr. Pavone must be accountable to him when it comes to funds raised in the Church’s name.
The Rainbow Sash Movement challenges Fr. Pavone to remember that suffering and obedience are joined at the hip, that Diocese jumping is a two edged sword and that personal apostolic commitments don’t trump vocation.
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