Yes, you read the title correctly. Pope Francis is not infallible and makes mistakes, just like you and me. However, his most recent and prominent one is outrageous.
Father Frank Pavone, National Director for Priests for Life, has been laicized for alleged blasphemous posts on social media (which was something said in anger and far from blasphemous) and failure to be obedient. I find it interesting that Pope Francis had no qualms about supporting Father Frank’s pro-life activities, that is, until he spoke out in favor of President Trump, one of the most pro-life presidents in history.
Is the Pope once again succumbing to pressure from politicians and left-leaning Bishops? He already allows the Eucharist to Catholic lawmakers who support abortion (and other sinful acts), including President Biden. I thought encouraging or supporting abortion was a sin, or has that changed? Has someone amended the Bible? The Catechism?
Pope Francis and all church leaders should be fighting for the unborn and direct priests to educate their flocks about what abortion is and its sinfulness. Well, they aren't. Who is? Father Frank. He is following a calling from God received decades ago. Question: Is it blasphemy if the Pope dismisses a calling from God? Does it apply to the Bishops who have consistently attempted to curtail Father's pro-life activities from the beginning?
If it weren't for Father Frank’s unparalleled and fearless determination, many people would have been unaware of what abortion entails. They wouldn’t know of the emotional and spiritual consequences experienced by those who have had or encouraged abortion or the many healing programs available. They would still live under a cloud of shame and regret resulting in depression and self-destructive behavior.
Sadly, most parish priests fail to speak to their parishioners about abortion because they have been told by the “powers at be” that it is too controversial and political. They are mistaken. Abortion is not a political issue; it is a moral one. Then there are the priests who don't address any aspect of abortion for fear of offending their parishioners. How in the world can speaking about the sanctity of life and sharing God's mercy be offensive? Something else to consider … one in four women have had at least one abortion by the age of forty, which means the odds are that some are sitting in their pews. By avoiding the topic of abortion and healing, those women will continue to suffer in silence.
Father Frank is the ultimate champion for the unborn and the men and women devastated by abortion. No one has made a more significant impact or reached so many. From one who has suffered the consequences of abortion, I would never have known about healing or been allowed the opportunity to receive forgiveness from God, my children, or myself. I wouldn't have been inspired to publicly share my story or get involved in a healing ministry.
Considering everything and with due respect, Pope Francis needs to reconsider his decision. He also needs to apologize to the men and women who have experienced abortion and share their stories, those in healing ministries, and all involved in saving the lives of the unborn. Appeasing left-leaning Bishops and lawmakers who support abortion is a slap in the face to us all. It devalues what we have experienced and what we do. It also contradicts the teachings of the Church. I wonder what Jesus thinks about it all? One can only imagine His disappointment.
I am just one of a large contingent who stands by Father Frank as he continues his mission, regardless of what is being done to him. He may have made mistakes along the way, but nothing that warrants the penalty of laicization. (What did Jesus say about those without sin throwing the first stone?) We weep for the unjust treatment but be assured the tears do not signify weakness or retreat. We are strong and more determined than ever.
We pray for Pope Francis, Father Frank and a positive resolution. We pray for the victims of and for the end of abortion.
Note: I wrote this article as a woman who suffered the consequences of abortion and received healing, not as a representative of any organization.