by Edward N. Peters, JD, JCD
Fr. Pavone has issued another statement. It’s pretty clear that he is not getting, or is not heeding, advice to step out of the limelight. Whatever, I find his latest remarks troubling, not so much canonically this time (although there are worrisome signs there), but more for what they indicate about Pavone’s person and direction.
I write here, then, not as a canonist, but as a reasonably intelligent Catholic man, about the same age as Fr. Pavone, sharing the same Creed and sacraments and pope, familiar with pro-life work, who has worked with clergy and seminarians most of his adult life.
Pavone writes, I think, from the heart. I will too. Excerpts from Pavone's text in italics, my reactions in regular type.
Well, friends, here in Amarillo I am working hard at my computer on various pro-life projects as I await further instructions from the diocese. Nothing yet…
Nothing? What’s that mean? Does a young, healthy priest, in his home diocese, with full faculties for ordained ministry therein, really need to be told what to do with a large, unexpected block of time? If so, I have some suggestions.
Besides engaging in the “period of prayer and reflection” to which you were directed, how about offering to cover some masses for your over-stretched diocesan brothers who are saying two, three (and, shhh!, sometimes four) masses a day for the local faithful? Or how about slipping, a la John Paul II, into a parish confessional for a few extra hours each day to tend whatever souls God might send you? If the liturgical or sacramental work of a secular priest is not your forte, maybe you could visit your elderly and infirm brothers, or fill relief boxes at a community shelter and share some moments with people in need. Would the daily grind of tending souls ransomed by Christ, but at such grave risk in this world, be such a poor use of your time?