Frank Pavone - Priesthood - Amarillo Situation

Amarillo Situation

On September 6, 2011, Pavone was ordered back to his diocese by his bishop, Patrick Zurek of the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas. Pavone said he would comply with the request.

On September 14, 2011, Monsignor Harold Waldow, head of clergy in the diocese, said Pavone remains a priest in good standing with the diocese and was ordered back because he was needed for work in the diocese. Pavone said, "I fully expect that my time in Amarillo, both in terms of this immediate trip and in terms of my affiliation with that diocese is going to be temporary." On September 22, 2011, Priests for Life mailed a fundraising letter from Pavone to supporters asking for donations. In the letter, Pavone said,

"First, I am not suspended and I never was. You can call the Amariilo chancery if you feel like you need to. The number is . You’ll probably be connected to Deacon Floyd Ashley, the diocese's Executive Assistant, He will confirm what I just told you.

Second, I have not lost any of my priestly faculties. Again, Deacon Ashley will confirm that.

Third, and perhaps most important to you, Monsignor Harold Waldow, the Vicar of Clergy for the Amarillo Diocese, has sent out a letter in which he states that I have not been 'charged with any malfeasance' nor even been 'accused of any wrong doing with the financial matters of Priests for Life.'

Fourth, while Bishop Zurek wants to clear up any misunderstandings, he made it clear that he does not want the work of Priests for Life to be harmed.

Fifth, for the time being, my ministry is restricted to the Diocese of Amarillo and it will remain restricted until Bishop Zurek and I can sit down and reach a mutual understanding on my dual role as both a priest in his diocese and a priest dedicated to pro-life work on a full-time basis.

On September 30, 2011, Bishop Zurek said Pavone would remain in Amarillo "indefinitely". On October 3, 2011, Zurek sent a letter to Pavone saying, "I want only what is best for all organizations that support and promote those teachings that come from the heart of the Catholic Church on the dignity and gift of human life." Bishop Zurek and Pavone were set to meet privately on October 13, 2011,.

On May 18, 2012, the Congregation for the Clergy of the Vatican, after Father Pavone appealed his case to Rome, sent out a ruling in favor of Father Pavone's case. The Congregation declared that Father Pavone is not now nor has ever been suspended. Father Pavone remains a priest in good standing all over the world. Following this declaration, Pavone was critical of the way the situation had been handled and added there can be disagreement with Bishops within the church. "There can be loyal opposition. That is how the church grows," Pavone said.

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