From what I could see, she had first dibs in publishing a letter from the Vicar for Clergy in Amarillo, Tex., publically stating that Fr. Pavone: "is a priest in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church" and that:
"because there is dispute about the auditing process and the complete audit for all the entities of Priests for Life, Rachel's Vineyard, and the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, does not mean that Fr. Pavone is being charged with any malfeasance or being accused of any wrong doing with the financial matters of Priests for Life."I like the sound of that. It's a heck of a lot better than “I have reasons to be alarmed at the potential financial scandal…” and “… incorrigible defiance to my legitimate authority…” and “… his fame has caused him to see priestly obedience as an inconvenience to his unique status…”
But one post previous to this big news, Stanek collected some "bullets of interest" regarding Fr. Pavone's situation in Amarillo. Particularly of note:
- Bishop Zurek wrote his letter to bishops on September 9, ordered Father Pavone to report for duty in Amarillo on September 13, and then left for vacation on September 13, according to a diocesan rep I spoke with. He will be on vacation until September 28.
- While 83 U.S. bishops wrote or made statements opposing Notre Dame inviting pro-abortion/pro-infanticide President Barack Obama to speak at its May 2009 commencement, Bishop Zurek was not one – although his predecessor, pro-life stalwart Bishop Emeritus John Yanta was. (Zurek was installed as Bishop of Amarillo in February 2008.) As a Texan Catholic pro-life leader told me, “This was low hanging fruit, an easy pro-life stand to take. When the entire pro-life Catholic nation was outraged, Bishop Zurek would have garnered great favor with pro-life Catholics in his diocese had he taken a stand.”
- Thanks to Bishop Zurek’s letter, the liberal press has labeled Father Pavone as the “third high-profile conservative Catholic leader this year to face charges of misconduct,” linking him with two well-known priests who lost or resigned their ministries over sexual impropriety.