Vatican defrocks Priests for Life Director Father Frank Pavone for 'blasphemous' social media posts
"This action was taken after Father Pavone was found guilty in canonical proceedings of blasphemous communications on social media," the Vatican said.
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The Vatican defrocked Priest for Life Director Frank Pavone without the possibility of appeal for social media posts the church considered to be "blasphemous."
The Prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy dismissed Pavone on Nov. 9, according to a December 13 letter to U.S. bishops from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who serves as Pope Francis' representative to the United States, the Catholic News Agency reported Saturday.
"Father Pavone was given ample opportunity to defend himself in the canonical proceedings, and he was also given multiple opportunities to submit himself to the authority of his diocesan bishop," an attachment to Pierre's letter states. "It was determined that Father Pavone had no reasonable justification for his actions."
Pavone said Saturday that he had not been notified of the Vatican's decision, but found out through the Catholic News Agency.
"This action was taken after Father Pavone was found guilty in canonical proceedings of blasphemous communications on social media, and of persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop," Pierre stated in his letter, without giving specific examples, The New York Times reported.
Priests for Life still states that Pavone is a "priest in good standing," but the page appears to only include information from 2020. Pavone, who once served as a religious adviser to former president Donald Trump, retweeted several statements in his support over the weekend.
"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," Bishop J. Strickland wrote in a tweet reposted by Pavone.
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