September 15, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a document dated today the Vicar of Clergy for the Diocese of Amarillo, the home diocese of Fr. Frank Pavone, said that the popular pro-life priest is not being “charged with any malfeasance or being accused of any wrong doing with the financial matters of Priests for Life.”
Monsignor Harold Waldrow also clarified that Fr. Pavone “is a priest in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church. He has all the faculties for ministry that every priest of our diocese has in and for the Diocese of Amarillo.”
The clarification from the diocese comes two days after news broke that Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo had recalled Fr. Pavone, the founder and head of Priests for Life, over concerns about the priest’s handling of his organization’s finances.
“There have been persistent question and concerns by clergy and laity regarding the transactions of millions of dollars of donations to the PFL from whom the donors have a rightful expectation that the monies are being used prudently,” said Zurek in that statement.
The bishop also expressed concerns about what he suggested was Fr. Pavone’s lack of obedience: “I would venture to say that the supreme importance that he has attributed to his PFL ministry and the reductionist attitude toward the diocesan priesthood has inflated his ego with a sense of self-importance and self-determination.”
For his part Fr. Pavone has responded by pointing out that he receives no salary from Priests for Life and by arguing that he has cooperated with all of Bishop Zurek’s demands for documentation regarding Priests for Life’s finances. “Priests for Life has consistently provided every financial document requested by Bishop Zurek, including annual financial audits, quarterly reports, management documents,” said Fr. Pavone in a statement Tuesday.
Priests for Life has also released the independent audits of the organization’s finances, which show “clean” records for the past 10 years.
Fr. Pavone has said that he is appealing his case to Rome, while looking for incardination in a different diocese, where the bishop would be willing to allow him to continue his full time pro-life ministry.
Read the complete statement from the diocese here.
For more updates on Fr. Pavone’s situation, click here.