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Saturday, October 15, 2011

That's Rich

So, Father Pavone has chosen to ignore his own bishop's invitation to dialogue.
On the advice of his canon lawyer, apparently.

It's an interesting defense, but I found this passage particularly telling:

Fr. Deibel also accused Bishop Zurek of asking to meet one-on-one with Fr. Pavone and telling the priest to not write or speak of the meeting publicly.
“Then, the next day, before Father Frank even had an opportunity to respond, the bishop announced the meeting on the front page of the website of the Amarillo diocese,” Fr. Deibel said.

Oh, the humanity!

Father Pavone is upset, UPSET, I say, because the bishop told Father Pavone to shut up for once and let the bishop act as.... well.... the bishop.
Father Pavone, do you remember the bishop's role?
Head of the diocese, the decision-maker, the man who runs the show?
Any of that ring a bell?

It's like having your boss tell you not to talk to the press because higher management wants to do the talking.

How DARE higher management shut Father Pavone up!
How DARE Dad tell you - the subordinate, the child, the younger brother - to shut up while the man given the responsibility to run the diocese tells the world what HE feels needs to be said in this situation!

After all, when the bishop called Father Pavone back due to concerns about financial irregularities, we didn't hear a single word from Father Pavone about finances again.

No, not a single word from Father Pavone about money.

Instead, Father Pavone has spewed thousands of words, most of which boil down to "Give me all your money right now or the babies die!"

And notice the bishop merely said a meeting was to take place - he didn't say Father Pavone hadn't shown up until.... well... until Father Pavone didn't show up.

Given that this is an internal matter, and the bishop is supposed to be the head of the diocese, it is not entirely a surprise to find that the bishop feels its HIS responsibility to what degree the public is to be informed about the proceedings between a bishop and his own priest.

But Father Pavone is upset because HE didn't get a chance to advertise it first.

Man, who is running this inquiry?
The bishop or Father Pavone?
Obviously, Father Pavone wants the bishop to get his head screwed on straight before he, Father Pavone, can be expected to deign to meet with him.

What CAN the bishop be thinking?
Why, I'll bet the bishop didn't even donate to Priests for Life this year!
And after all those good-natured and generous reminders from Father Pavone!

News from Amarillo about Fr. Pavone's finances.

Another Day, Another Appeal for MONEY
October 18, 2011

(Thank you for your support of Priests for Life. If you already responded to the following appeal online, I appreciate your support. This email is intended for those who did not respond when we sent it previously.) 

Of course, you can dispel my fear that you might be taken in by these false accusations by clicking here and making as large a contribution to Priests for Life as you can … whether it be for $15, $150 or $15,000.


Rick said...

Here's what's rich.

This bishop has sullied the reputation of Fr. Pavone, repeatedly and publicly.

The priest has, on the advice of his canon lawyer, asked for a mediator.

And you see fit to further denigrate the priest.

That's rich.

Too rich for my blood.

Let the canon law process take care of this situation.

It is quite clear to me that Fr. Pavone's lawyer has excellent reasons for insisting upon a mediation process here.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

So, Rick,

If you think I'm denigrating a priest, then you can explain the following to me:

1) Why the religious order Fr. Pavone attempted to found was suppressed.

2) By the Vatican.

3) Why the seminary Fr. Pavone SAID he was going to found was never completed, despite millions of dollars of donations
a) And several young men who felt they had vocations to it,
b) With whom Father Pavone essentially never met,
c) Nor did he explain where the money donated for that seminary went.

4) How he could let an organization under his control LOSE its 501(3)(c) status by failing to file the appropriate tax forms for three years running

5) And how he could then fail to inform donors of that fact for MONTHS (he still hasn't officially informed anyone of this fact).

6) Yet he has time to send out close to one DOZEN appeals for additional cash,

7) AFTER his bishop restricted him to Amarillo PRECISELY because of bishop's concerns for Father Pavone's financial irresponsibility.

So, can you explain these issues?

Or is merely repeating the facts of the matter "denigrating the priest"?

I'm happy to listen to your explanations.

Or Father Pavone's explanations.

And, I suspect, so is his bishop.

But the canon lawyer advised Father Pavone not to show up to the meeting.

Will you show up to explain it instead?

Rick said...


My my. It seems utterly incredible, in the face of such damning accusations, that Fr. Pavone remains a priest in good standing.

How on earth could the bishop have been so remiss?

You know, Steve, a Catholic is entitled to justice, and that includes the right to a fair and just process when his or her reputation is impugned.

I wish Father Pavone every consideration in the face of the savagery we see, as in your case, on the part of those who apparently have uncovered gross dereliction on the part of his bishop, who has taken no action at all commensurate with the kinds of malefaction you invoke in your indictment.

But then again, it is so much easier to compile a list of insinuations on a blog, than it is to prove them in a forum committed to justice.

I say again: this matter should be handled in strict accordance with canon law, including the right of this priest to defend his reputation.

Steve Kellmeyer said...


So, like Father Pavone, you don't have any explanation of the facts either.

Bishop has taken exactly the kind of action anyone would expect a bishop to take when a priest demonstrates:
(a) he has no freaking clue how to handle money and
(b) his ego is much greater than his financial ability.

In such cases, a bishop clips the priest's wings. Which is exactly what the bishop has done.

Get used to it, Rick.
Fr. Pavone is not leaving Amarillo while this bishop is alive.

scotju said...

The fact that Fr Pavone's canon lawyer was an advisor to the pro-sodomite Servants Of The Paraclete makes me wonder about FP's lack of good judgement. why a lawyer who served that disgracefull group?

Roger Conley said...

I can see saying both have made mistakes. Attacking Father Pavone and praising Bishop Zurek just seems bizarre to me.

Anonymous said...

What's rich is the gang that can't seem to shoot straight or with any coordinated effort in Amarillo! Erroneous statements after erroneous statements made publicly that necessitate corrections which are followed by same erroneous statements.

With all of those fallacies even before any kind of "personal" meeting was established, made even while the priest was being obedient and present in the diocese, you'd have to be truly unstable NOT to have a Canon Lawyer's guidance....esp. when erroneously accused again publicly AFTER one is ordered not to go public about any meeting himself!

What is so alarming in so many established Catholic blogs is the willingness to jettison all the parts of the Faith to one's personal dislike, as contained in Canon Law, in order to appease some limited viewpoint that was established before any of the facts had been!

No one seems to worry too much about a bishop's over-reach of his own limited authority. Clericalism is still alive and well. He even states that PFL is not a recognized Church entity and must also understand that PFL is not under his authority and yet almost immediately tells people not to donate, even via their bishops, to this same group. Just where does he get that authority? This guy is a loose cannon but gets help in blogdom because they somehow see his umbrella covering just about anything...even when Canon Law says otherwise. Not a good example yourselves of true obedience to the Faith!

Steve Kellmeyer said...

1) The bishop has the right to tell the priest not to speak publicly about pretty much anything the bishop wants the priest to be silent about, at least insofar as it doesn't require silence about the Gospel.

Under certain circumstances, he can even require priests to be silent on the Gospel, if he thinks the priest is preaching badly).

That's part of a bishop's authority.

2) The organization PFL is not under the bishop's authority, nor has the bishop claimed it is. But the priest who runs it, Father Pavone, IS under the bishop's authority.

Consequently, the bishop has every right to require whatever he wants OF THE PRIEST insofar as the priest works with the organization. So, while he can't require PFL to provide financial statements, he CAN require his priest to provide all financial transactions FOR WHICH THE PRIEST is responsible, to make sure no malfeasance has taken place that would reflect badly on the diocese.

Since this priest happens to run PFL, that means the bishop can require the financial statements from PFL, THROUGH THE PRIEST.

If Father Pavone didn't think that kind of oversight was useful, he should have made someone else president of PFL.

3) The bishop has NOT over-reached in his authority in any aspect of this. He's done PRECISELY what any good bishop would do. Keep in mind that Bishop Yanta (who was CLEARLY pro-life) helped suppress Father Pavone's religious order.

Thus, we can conclude that Bishop Yanta also had some issues with Father Pavone.

I have seen ZERO evidence that this bishop is not also pro-life. He's trying to make sure he isn't going to have another Father Euteneuer, Father Maciel or Father Corapi on his watch, which is only right.

Anonymous said...

Thus, we can conclude that Bishop Yanta also had some issues with Father Pavone.
No, we cannot conclude your wishful thinking. There was a huge amount of money involved in such a large undertaking at a time when the economy (everyone including the Church) was beginning to take a nosedive. You have no evidence for your projected accusations seemingly based upon your personal interpretations alone.

And what happened to my last comment that refuted your other demeaning projections upon a priest?: said priest will be able to answer the basic of questions upon his meeting the Lord he has served: "I was the least and most vulnerable, being slaughtered in the womb in the worst ever holocaust, and you rescued me"...whatever you did to the least of My brothers you did to Me. Meanwhile, those recently referred to by Pope Benedict as "professional Catholics" advertising their high place and authority may just be confronted about what they did to just those who were actually carrying out the Lord's own desires! Not only do such neo-pharisees place unbelievable weights upon those who serve their needy brothers and sisters, they themselves are not seen as lifting much of a finger to do the same good work.

Steve Kellmeyer said...


I have no idea what happened to your last comment. I got it in my mailbox, but it didn't appear on the site.

Here is what you wrote:

Steve Kellmeyer,

You sidestepped just about every point made re: the questions of this bishop overstepping his authority.

Bishop Z DID ask for financial records in the past and those requests are stated to have been complied with but with no acknowledgement by the bishop. So his "right" which you mentioned he has is now moot for this discussion of the present accusation of disobedience of PFL.

Somehow you conveniently sidestepped his LACK OF authority taken to tell people, via bishops, to stop donating to PFL based solely on his "feelings" and being totally outside his limits to his authority over others. Sorry, but your so called rights of a bishop outlined to cover just about anything in your viewpoint stop at the rights of the priest when accused without any real substantial bases in fact and truth PRESENTED at the time of public accusation, causing scandal for him, damaging the reputation of those OUTSIDE THE AUTHORITY OF THE BISHOP and other organizations of charity also OUTSIDE THE AUTHORITY OF THE BISHOP.

It is too bad that you personally wish to anoint the clerical position of a priest/bishop without acknowledging its parameters within the Canon Laws of the Church. That is NOT the fullness of our Faith and it is NOT the truth re: the equal rights of our priests within those same Canon Laws of our Faith.

He's trying to make sure he isn't going to have another Father Euteneuer, Father Maciel or Father Corapi on his watch, which is only right.

How do YOU know what this bishop's motivations are??? If you know of any similar accusations made against Fr. Pavone within the grouping of men you have mentioned in comparison to this situation state them. You, along with so many other bloggers have linked yourselves to gossip and denigrating another's reputation by such thoughtless imaginings. That's sinful in its intentions. Shame on you. You're whitewashing the actions of an authority of the Church who has had to admit his own error in the very letter he sent out to hopefully gain ecclesial backing apriori based merely upon his assumptions before even engaging, one to one, with the one he's accused without foundation in fact. What a passive/aggressive manipulator.

Interesting and informative personal knowledge connection with Bishop Z from # 23 commentor named Famijoly posted on September 14, 2011 at 1:31 am
on the great pro-life nurse, Jill Stanek's, blog:

Steve Kellmeyer said...


Now, to answer your comments:
1) PFL did, indeed, show some of its financial records to the bishop. You don't get to decide if what they showed was satisfactory. That's the bishop's decision. Obviously, he doesn't agree with you.

2) You claim bishop has no authority to ask other bishops to cut off funding to PFL. Cite the canon law he violates. In fact, he has the authority - that's why you're upset.

3) I love Jill Stanek, but she isn't Catholic, she doesn't understand how the Church works, and neither do you.

4) I've listed numerous times the various financial irregularities and lapses of good judgement that have occurred on Father Pavone's watch. If you can't read, I can't help you.

Lili said...

Sadly, far too many folks have been so hungry to hear a strong, or any pro-life homily from their pastors. I believe this has led to a totally uncritical mindset about Fr Pavone.

While I admit he has been a great pro-life preacher, he is not alone!. There are many good priests who preach with power and truth all over America. I travel a lot in my job working at universities, and I have been blessed to meet many of these men!

Fr Frank is not above being caught up in his own publicity. Some of which seems to suggest that he , and he alone has devoted his life to the pro-life cause. That is an insult to the many anonymous priest, nuns and laity that have done the same within their vocation or place in life. I have personally hear him say that others do pro-life work as a sort of hobby! Shame on you, Fr Pavone!

Father is not the only one called to such a sacrifice, but he is famous for it! That may not be so good for his spiritual life. I am beginning to think that is what Bishop Z. is really concerned about.

Meanwhile, excellent pro-life work continues to be done while Father is being asked to be still and pray.

40 Days for Life is successfully saving lives everyday this month!
Countless volunteers at PRC’s are working to give Mom’s and their babies a hopeful future.
Student’s for Life of America is creating a force for life on campuses across America.

Most importantly laws are being developed and passed in Washington and the states by National Right to Life and it’s state groups every day while Fr Frank is staying where his Bishop put him.

The Protect Life Act will save thousands/millions of Babies lives by preventing abortion funding under Obama Care. This law was developed by NRLC and it was their staff, not PPL that brought it through Congress. Now they need our help to press the Senate! That would be a better place to send a letter right now, not Amarillo! for more info.

Let's put our money into the groups doing the hard workl!

Father has done a wonderful job waking the faithful, but right now he should wait upon the Lord. It may be the best thing for his future here and in heaven. If his work is of God it will continue. All this clamor about how indispensable he is will just prove to the bishops that for his own good Fr Frank needs some down time!

I would think that what he was trying to do was to inspire the rest of us to make the system work! So let’s pray for Father, then go get busy!


Kevin said...

He nowhere said that people were forbidden to donate. He did strongly suggest people not donate.

A distinction with a difference. Giving a suggestion isn't overstepping your authority. It's a suggestion worthy of serious consideration. I honestly think that those who continue to donate should do their best to answer those questions.

As Steve said, absolutely no overstepping of the Bishop's authority here.