Vatican defrocks anti-abortion priest Frank Pavone for social media posts

The Vatican has defrocked an anti-abortion U.S. priest, Frank Pavone, for what it mentioned have been “blasphemous communications on social media” in addition to “persistent disobedience” of his bishop.

A letter to U.S. bishops from the Vatican ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Christophe Pierre, obtained Sunday, mentioned the choice in opposition to Pavone, who heads the anti-abortion group Clergymen for Life, had been taken Nov. 9, and that there was no likelihood for an attraction.

Pavone had been investigated by his then-diocese of Amarillo, Texas, for having positioned an aborted fetus on an altar and posting a video of it on two social media websites in 2016. He posts ceaselessly about U.S. politics and abortion, and the video of the aborted fetus was accompanied by a submit saying that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform would enable abortion to proceed and that Donald Trump and the Republican platform need to shield unborn youngsters.

Pavone stays a agency supporter of Trump: His Twitter deal with options him carrying a “MAGA” hat with a background photograph that includes the previous U.S. president, whom many conservatives reward for his Supreme Court docket nominees who overturned the landmark determination guaranteeing a constitutional proper to abortion in america.

In a tweet Sunday, Pavone sounded defiant, evaluating his destiny to that of the unborn.

“So in each occupation, together with the priesthood, when you defend the #unborn, you’ll be handled like them! The one distinction is that after we are “aborted,” we proceed to talk, loud and clear.”

His supporters instantly denounced the measure, together with the bishop of Tyler, Texas, Joseph Strickland, who referred to U.S. President Joe Biden’s help for abortion rights as “evil.”

“The blasphemy is that this holy priest is canceled whereas an evil president promotes the denial of fact & the homicide of the unborn at each flip, Vatican officers promote immorality & denial of the deposit of religion & clergymen promote gender confusion devastating lives…evil,” Strickland tweeted.

Pavone had appealed to the Vatican over restrictions positioned on his ministry in 2011 by the Amarillo bishop, succeeded in getting the restrictions eased, and relocated away from Texas whereas remaining energetic with Clergymen for Life.

In his letter, Pierre cited info from the Congregation for Clergy that Pavone had been laicized — he can now not current himself as a priest — after being discovered responsible in a canonical continuing “of blasphemous communications on social media and of persistent disobedience of the lawful directions of his diocesan bishop.” The letter was first reported by Catholic Information Company.

The assertion mentioned Pavone was given “ample alternative to defend himself” in addition to to undergo his bishop. “It was decided that Father Pavone had no affordable justification for his actions.”

The assertion concluded that since Clergymen for Life just isn’t a Catholic group, it will be as much as the group to find out whether or not he might proceed his function “as a lay individual.”

Laicization, or being diminished to the lay state, is likely one of the harshest sanctions within the church’s canon legislation.

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