John-Henry Westen

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Bishop says Fr. Pavone to remain in Amarillo for ‘indefinite’ period – Pavone responds

John-Henry Westen
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AMARILLO, TX, October 4, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a brief letter dated September 30 and posted on the website of the diocese of Amarillo, Bishop Patrick Zurek has stated that Priests for Life President Fr. Frank Pavone “remains suspended.”  While the bishop acknowledges that Fr. Pavone “has faculties for ministry in the Diocese of Amarillo,” he adds that he “does not have my permission for ministry outside the Diocese.”

The bishop’s letter adds, “He is to remain in the Diocese for an indefinite period of time for prayer and reflection.”

LifeSiteNews spoke with Fr. Pavone today about the letter.  “The diocese is saying two things at the same time,” Fr. Pavone said.  “They are saying that I’m a priest in good standing [may practice priestly ministry] and yet they are saying that I’m suspended.” 

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Fr. Pavone noted that his canon lawyer was “trying to make sense” of those two seemingly contradictory statements.

For his part, Pavone said, “I’m patiently waiting to get clarification.”

Speaking for the Diocese of Amarillo, Deacon Floyd Ashley told LifeSiteNews that suspension means that Pavone “has no faculties outside the diocese of Amarillo.”

As to the specific nature of the concerns of the bishop, Deacon Ashley said that was a matter between Fr. Pavone and the bishop.  He also said that the diocese did not leak Bishop Zurek’s letter to the bishops of the U.S. to the public.

Asked about what kind of timeline the bishop may have in mind, and whether Fr. Pavone would be permitted to attend the upcoming March for Life in January, Deacon Ashley said he had no idea.

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