Corrupt Christians: Leader of "Priests For Life" Group That Once Compared Fetuses to Slaves is Suspended Over Financial Mismanagement Accusations

Frank Pavone, the leader of Priests For Life, has been suspended from participating in "active ministry outside the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas,"  following "concerns about financial mismanagement," a Catholics for Choice Press Release announced today. 

Local Bishop Patrick J. Zurek had the following to say about Pavone, whom Catholics for Choice described as a media-hungry self-promoter:

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

Catholics for Choice once reported on Pavone and his antichoice group  in Faithless Politics: Priests for Life Defies Constitution and Conscience, in which it said "Pavone has always personalized the PFL message and image, selling himself—often with large photos of himself on PFL billboards—much as a candidate for office might do."

But despite Pavone's shady past, which included his performing a confirmation ceremony on Norma "Jane Roe" McCorvey of Roe v. Wade sans a bishop (despite the clear teaching that bishops must be perform at confirmations) and his heavy involvement in the Terry Schiavo case, perhaps the most despicable of his actions involved his recent bus tour in the south.  An imitation of the Civil Rights Movement's Freedom Rides in '61, organizers called the tour the "Pro-life Freedom Ride."  And according to Alveda King, niece of MLK JR. and a PFL employee, organizers -- who despicably sell themselves as the as the new Civil Rights movement -- compared fetuses to slaves. 

Pavone's past actions led Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, to suggest the corruption concerns came as no surprise. 

“Priests for Life’s ultra-right-wing positions on abortion and other issues have alienated many laypeople and priests alike. Its links to the antichoice movement’s extreme, aggressive fringe, such as Operation Rescue leaders Randall Terry and Reverend Philip “Flip” Benham, have been a constant scandal. Ultimately, Priests for Life appears to never have attracted more then one in five US priests. Perhaps it was inevitable that his financial stewardship would also come into question.”

The scandal is the second debacle to hit anti-choice groups recently. Just a few months ago, Fr. Tom Euteneuer, the former head of Human Life International, had resigned for, by his on acknowledgement,  having "violat[ed] the boundaries of chastity with an adult female who was under my spiritual care.”

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at September 13, 2011, 9:17am