Church

Fr Frank Pavone (Priests for Life) Suspended from Public Ministry

A letter sent to all US Bishops announcing Fr Frank Pavone’s suspension can be read here.

Fr Frank Pavone is the head of Priests for Life.

Catholic News Service reports:

Washington – Father Frank Pavone, one of the country’s most visible and vocal opponents of abortion, has been suspended from active ministry outside the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, over financial questions about his operation of Priests for Life.

The suspension was made public in a Sept. 9 letter from Amarillo Bishop Patrick J. Zurek to his fellow bishops across the country, but Father Pavone told Catholic News Service that he was returning to Amarillo and planned to continue functioning as a priest there.

“My decision is the result of deep concerns regarding his stewardship of the finances of the Priests for Life (PFL) organization,” Bishop Zurek wrote. “The PFL has become a business that is quite lucrative which provides Father Pavone with financial independence from all legitimate ecclesiastical oversight.”

Bishop Zurek said “persistent questions and concerns” from clergy and laity about how the “millions of dollars in donations” the organization has received are being spent led to the action.

The bishop also asked Father Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, to return to Amarillo “to spend time in prayer and reflection.”

Father Pavone, meanwhile, told CNS Sept. 13 from Birmingham, Ala., where he had been taping programs for Eternal Word Television Network for more than a week, that he planned to comply with Bishop Zurek’s request to return to Amarillo. Father Pavone said he was scheduled to leave Birmingham the afternoon of Sept. 13 and meet with Msgr. Harold Waldow, vicar for clergy in the Amarillo Diocese, immediately after his arrival.

“Bishop Zurek asked me to go back to the diocese today, which I am doing for a limited period of time,” Father Pavone said. “I am going there and my (priestly) faculties are fully intact and I’m in good standing.”

Father Pavone was incardinated in the Amarillo Diocese in 2005 when Priests for Life moved some of its operations to the Texas panhandle city. Priests for Life was welcomed to Amarillo by now-retired Bishop John W. Yanta, who served on the organization’s board of advisers.

Priests for Life no longer has offices in Amarillo. It is based in Staten Island.

Records filed with the Internal Revenue Service show that the organization’s income topped $10.8 million in 2008, the latest year tax forms were available. In 2007, Priests for Life showed income of $9.2 million.

The same records show that Father Pavone received no income from the organization during those years. He said when he originally took the position with Priests for Life that he would claim no salary from the organization.

A popular lecturer and retreat leader, Father Pavone travels the country speaking against abortion and on other pro-life issues. He also produces programs for secular radio and television.

Father Pavone became national director of Priests for Life in 1993. He also holds the same position with Gospel of Life Ministries, an interdenominational effort to end abortion, which shares its headquarters with Priests for Life.

In addition, Father Pavone is national pastoral director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and president of the National Pro-Life Religious Council.

A native of Port Chester, N.Y., he was ordained in 1988 by Cardinal John J. O’Connor of New York and served as a parish priest in the New York Archdiocese until joining Priests for Life full time in 1993.

I note that Fr Pavone has released an Official Statement here. From the conclusion:

… In the interest of full transparency, I would like to make it known that I do not receive any salary or financial remuneration from either the Diocese of Amarillo or from Priests for Life.  Priests for Life, as a Private Association of the Christian Faithful, does provide for my residence and the expenses associated with the ministry, but these expenses are very small. Though, as a diocesan priest, I have never taken a vow of poverty, I have basically chosen to live in that fashion in solidarity with the pre-born children we are trying to protect—who are the poorest of the poor.

I want to be clear that I do not harbor any ill will towards the Bishop of Amarillo, nor do I foster suspicions about his motives. I am merely confused by his actions. It is impossible for me to believe that there is no place in the Church for priests to exercise full-time ministry in the service of the unborn. We do it for the sick, the poor, the hungry, and the imprisoned. But where in the Church is the place where a priest can exercise the same kind of full-time ministry for the children in the womb? That is the question that is at the heart of my own calling.

I am confident that we will be able to resolve this difficulty soon, without any harm to either my own reputation and without any slowdown of the valuable pro-life work we do at Priests for Life.

Read it in full here.

Church

Monsignor Ian Dempsey Accused of Raping TAC Primate Archbishop John Hepworth

Monsignor Ian Dempsey

The Age calls it as it currently stands:

A former head Catholic chaplain of the navy,  Ian Dempsey,  was named in the  Senate last night as having allegedly raped a fellow seminarian 50 years  ago.

The naming by independent senator Nick Xenophon  came after the Catholic  Church yesterday rejected the senator’s ultimatum that he would name Monsignor  Dempsey unless he was stood down  from his current post as parish priest in  Brighton, Adelaide.

Monsignor Dempsey, 68, was made an Officer of the Order of Australia  in  recognition of his services as director-general of the navy’s chaplaincy. He has  also served as  vicar-general to the Adelaide archdiocese.

Monsignor Ian Dempsey and the Parish he works in is here.

The Telegraph also covers the sordid news here.

You may also want to read: ‘Catholic Church covered up sexual abuse, says this Archbishop’ here.

An abysmal state of affairs I’m afraid.

UPDATE I:   The Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, has released a media statement regarding the above which can be read here.

UPDATE II:  Monsignor Ian Dempsey denies the abuse allegations here.

Culture

Greater Societal Acceptance of Infanticide in Canada

No jail time for woman who strangled newborn because Canada accepts abortion, says judge.

Life Site News:

An Alberta judge has let a woman who strangled her newborn son walk free by arguing that Canada’s absence of a law on abortion signals that Canadians “sympathize” with the mother.“We live in a country where there is no protection for children in the womb right up until birth and now this judge has extended the protection for the perpetrator rather than the victim, even though the child is born and as such should be protected by the court,” said Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition.

Katrina Effert of Wetaskiwin, Alberta gave birth secretly in her parents’ downstairs bathroom on April 13, 2005, and then later strangled the newborn and threw his body over a fence.  She was 19 at the time.

She has been found guilty of second-degree murder by two juries, but both times the judgment was thrown out by the appeals court.  In May, the Alberta Court of Appeal overturned her 2009 murder conviction and replaced it with the lesser charge of infanticide.

On Friday, Effert got a three-year suspended sentence from Justice Joanne Veit of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.  As a result, she was able to walk out of court, though she will have to abide by certain conditions.

According to Justice Veit, Canada’s lack of an abortion law indicates that “while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.”

“Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother,” she added.

Under Canada’s Criminal Code, a woman who has not “fully recovered” from the effects of birth can be found guilty of the lesser charge of infanticide.  To bring forward the infanticide defense, which carries a maximum sentence of five years, there must be evidence that the woman’s mind was disturbed.

According to the Crown, the evidence showed Effert was not suffering mental disturbance.  They highlighted the fact that she planned for the birth by getting scissors to cut the umbilical cord and towels, and then hiding in the bathroom in her parents’ basement.  They suggested that she had tried to miscarry the child during pregnancy by smoking and drinking.  She lied during initial police questioning, claiming she was a virgin.

But Justice Veit agreed with defense lawyer Peter Royal, saying that this was “a classic infanticide case — the killing of a newborn after a hidden pregnancy by a mother who was alone and unsupported.”

Pro-life advocates have warned for years that widespread acceptance of abortion will open the door to greater societal acceptance of infanticide, beginning with the euthanizing of disabled newborns.  Infanticide proponent Peter Singer, a top ethicist at Princeton University, has said, for example, “there is no sharp distinction between the foetus and the newborn baby.”…

More here.

Opening wider the door to evil is what they are doing.

Church

Pope Accused of Crimes Against Humanity by Victims of Sex Abuse

How stupid! How on earth can you accuse an innocent, holy and godly man for the sins and evil perpetrated by of a few perverted individuals?

Victims’ complaint to the international criminal court accuses Pope Benedict and three others of failing to prevent abusers.

The Guardian reports:

Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have accused the pope, the Vatican secretary of state and two other high-ranking Holy See officials of crimes against humanity, in a formal complaint to the international criminal court (ICC).

The submission, lodged at The Hague on Tuesday, accuses the four men not only of failing to prevent or punish perpetrators of rape and sexual violence but also of engaging in the “systematic and widespread” practice of concealing sexual crimes around the world.

It includes individual cases of abuse where letters and documents between Vatican officials and others show a refusal to co-operate with law enforcement agencies seeking to pursue suspects, according to the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a US-based organisation that represents the claimants…

Read on if you so wish here.

Again, you cannot go around blaming the whole for the actions of a few!