Early last month, Father Frank Pavone of the Diocese of New York, well known in the Catholic Church for his pro-life stance, was defrocked for “blasphemous communications on social media” and “persistent disobedience of the lawful instruction of his diocesan bishop.”
According to Fr. Pavone, the “blasphemous communications” referred to a tweet of his from 2020 that included the word “g**damn.”
Fr. Pavone mentioned that he believed part of the reason he was defrocked was due to his strong stance against abortion. He started a group called Priests for Life in 1990 and has fought for the protection of unborn children for decades.
Fr. Pavone explained that, in the past, some churches have tried to cancel him for his views, his management of Priests for Life, his unabashed support for President Donald Trump, and his tendency to openly lean toward conservative values.
The Catholic Church has attempted to silence the pro-life priest countless times, trying to force him to stop speaking on politics and leave the controversial topics alone. Fr. Pavone has refused to censor his beliefs.
According to Fr. Pavone, the defrocking was headed by Bishop Patrick James Zurek of Amarillo, Texas.
“[Zurek] has been trying to get me out of the priesthood,” Fr. Pavone said. “So, we’ve had all kinds of communications back and forth, but the process has been a one-sided narrative. They don’t listen. They pretend, even in their public statement now, they pretend that, ‘Oh Father Frank’s been given many opportunities to defend himself.’ As if we haven’t been defending ourselves and doing so for 20 years. They’re being so disingenuous about this. They don’t listen to our concerns.”
However, Fr. Pavone has also received support from the Catholic Church.
Countless priests throughout the country have announced their full support of Fr. Pavone, including Texas Conservative Leader Award recipient Reverend Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas.
Rev. Strickland condemned the claim that Fr. Pavone was blasphemous, saying, “The blasphemy is that this holy priest is canceled while an evil president promotes the denial of truth & the murder of the unborn at every turn, Vatican officials promote immorality & denial of the deposit of faith & priests promote gender confusion devastating lives…evil.”
As of December 20, Fr. Pavone said he has yet to receive any “official notification” of his defrocking and only found out about it through the Catholic News Agency.