“NOW IS THE TIME FOR EVERY PRO-LIFE PERSON IN AMERICA TO STAND UP AND TAKE ACTION FOR THE BABIES!!!” Or for Frank Pavone. Master beggar, “pro-life” activist and Catholic priest who leads Priests for Life, an anti-abortion organization, Pavone has been called back to his home district by his superior, Bishop Zurek, for reasons not fully disclosed. The above all-caps text is from one of the many fundraisers and calls to action I’ve received in the past weeks. This particular mailing included the telephone number and address of Bishop Zurek, Zurek’s superior, and the head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. It came from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pavone is known for his over-the-top activism in the name of the Catholic Church, for his devoted fans, and for his regular please of funds. Early this year, for example, Pavone and other “pro-life” allies including the Terri Schindler Schiavo Life & Hope Network actually imported a dying child from Canada because a hospital there refused to give the child artificial life support (tracheotomy with breathing tube). Priests for Life paid for a hospital jet, the operation in the US (provided by a Catholic hospital after another hospital refused) and the baby’s return to Canada, after a proper Catholic baptism, of course. Baby Joseph Maraachli is terminally ill with a degenerative disease. Many opponents of futile care have argued that the efforts taken have only prolonged the child’s suffering and death.
While many have speculated about why Bishop Zurek called Pavone back to Texas, “pro-life” groups have mobilized to keep his organization afloat and to, “Free Father Frank.”