Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Frank Pavone Blocks Sacerdotus

A Controversial Priest Silences a fellow Catholic on Social Media

In a recent episode of online censorship, Father Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, has blocked a fellow Catholic blogger who goes by the name of Sacerdotus on Twitter. The reason for this blockage seems to be that Sacerdotus had mentioned Pavone's account in a tweet with an article by The Pillar detailing the allegations of sexual misconduct that have been made against Pavone by several former employees and associates of his pro-life organization.

Sacerdotus, who describes himself as a "Catholic philosopher, theologian, scientist, and blogger", had tweeted a link to an article by the National Catholic Reporter that detailed the accusations against Pavone, along with the comment: "Interesting read. I wonder how @frfrankpavone will respond to this." Pavone apparently did not appreciate this reference to the scandal that has been plaguing him for years, and decided to block Sacerdotus from viewing or interacting with his tweets.

This is not the first time that Pavone has resorted to blocking critics or dissenters on social media. He has also blocked several prominent Catholic journalists, theologians, and activists who have questioned his methods, motives, or theology. Some of these include Michael Sean Winters, Mark Shea, Simcha Fisher, and John Gehring. Pavone has also been known to lash out at those who challenge him, calling them names such as "idiots", "morons", and "demonic".

Pavone's behavior on social media raises serious questions about his credibility and integrity as a leader of a Catholic pro-life movement. How can he claim to be a defender of human dignity and life when he treats his fellow Catholics with such disrespect and contempt? How can he expect to persuade others to join his cause when he silences and insults those who disagree with him? How can he preach the Gospel of Life when he ignores or denies the allegations of sexual abuse that have been made against him?

Pavone's actions also reveal a lack of accountability and transparency in his organization. Priests for Life has been under investigation by several dioceses and the Vatican for financial irregularities and mismanagement. Pavone has refused to cooperate with these investigations, claiming that he is not subject to any ecclesiastical authority. He has also refused to disclose how much money he raises and spends, or how he uses it for his personal or professional expenses. He has been accused of using donations for lavish travel, luxury cars, and political campaigns.

Pavone's blocking of Sacerdotus on Twitter is a symptom of a deeper problem: his unwillingness to face the truth and to repent of his sins. He has shown no signs of remorse or repentance for the harm he has caused to the Church, the pro-life movement, and the victims of his alleged abuse. He has shown no signs of humility or obedience to the Church's teachings and laws. He has shown no signs of charity or compassion to his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Pavone's blocking of Sacerdotus on Twitter is also a warning to all Catholics who care about the sanctity of life and the integrity of the Church: beware of false prophets who come in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15). Do not follow them blindly or uncritically. Do not let them deceive you with their rhetoric or charisma. Do not let them silence you with their threats or intimidation. Do not let them divide you with their polarization or extremism.

Instead, follow the example of Sacerdotus and other courageous Catholics who speak the truth in love, who expose the darkness with light, who confront the evil with good. Follow the example of Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Follow the example of Mary, who is the mother of life and the queen of peace. Follow the example of Francis, who is the pope of mercy and the shepherd of souls.

And pray for Pavone and all those who have been hurt by him. Pray that they may find healing and justice. Pray that they may find forgiveness and reconciliation. Pray that they may find hope and joy.


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