Vatican Defrocks Priest for ‘Blasphemous’ Posts on Social Media

Father Frank Pavone has been removed from office by the Vatican

photo: Sean Gallup (Getty Images)

The Vatican away Anti-abortion activist Frank Pavone from the priesthood after making inflammatory posts on social media. The decision to oust the Florida-based pbest was filed Nov. 9 with no chance of appeal, US Archbishop Christophe Pierre said in a letter seen by several news outlets.

Pavone’s removal from the Church is known as laicization and is part of the canon law of the Catholic Church, meaning removing a bishop, priest or deacon as a member of the clergy. It is one of the harshest sanctions a priest can receive under canon law of the Church.

“This action was taken after Father Pavone was found guilty in a canonical trial of blasphemous communication on social media and continued disobedience to the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop,” the letter read about Pavone’s removal.

After the news, Pavone published a tweet on Sunday likening the decision to remove him from the church to having an aborted fetus. “So if you defend the #unborn in any profession, including the priesthood, you will be treated like them! The only difference is that after an ‘abortion’ we keep speaking loud and clear.” Pavon wrote.

In a video, Pavone spoke to his social media followers, who wore a leather jacket over his priest’s collar, and said he would remain committed to his anti-abortion efforts. He said the church has persecuted him “for decades” and claims they don’t approve of his pro-life activism.

Pavone was a Leader of the anti-abortion group Priests for Life and was first investigated in 2016 for Posting a video of an aborted fetus on an altar on two social media sites.

In the Post, Pavone said: “I’m showing it to you because in this election we have to decide whether or not we will allow this infanticide to continue in America. Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform are saying, “Yes, let the killing of children continue” (and you’re paying for it). Donald Trump and the Republican platform are saying, ‘No, the child should be protected.’”

in one press release with the caption “I will not be silenced or canceled” on the priest’s posts for Life website, Pavone claimed some people in the church had been “trying to silence my voice for 20 years,” saying the decision was an attempt to intimidate all pro-life clergy and lay activists.

However, Pierre stated in the letter that Pavone had “ample opportunity to defend himself” and had “several opportunities to submit to the authority of his diocesan bishop”. The letter added: “It was found that Father Pavone had no reasonable justification for his actions.” Vatican Defrocks Priest for ‘Blasphemous’ Posts on Social Media

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