Free Father Frank

As many of you probably know, our friend Father Pavone has been literally exiled by his bishop and barred from doing the pro-life work God clearly put him here to do. Moreover, the justifications being given for this are devoid of even the slightest merit.

What is being done to Father Frank is both unprincipled and indefensible, but the much larger problem is what this is doing to the cause you and I serve. With every day that Father Frank is kept off the battlefield, the pro-life effort suffers a major setback. Not only do we lose his indispensable contributions, but those of us who are his friends are forced to use up resources in his defense that would be better directed at the abortion lobby. The fact is, this petty nonsense is taking the lives of unborn children and it has to stop ... NOW!

We must all be willing to give this bishop the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is not acting out of malice but, instead, simply doesn't understand the irreparable harm he is doing. In that spirit, I am asking you to contact him today and ask him to correct this injustice. Be respectful but resolute. Make it clear that there is no defense for what is being done here and that Father Frank should be immediately freed to return to his calling.


Most Reverend Patrick J. Zurek Roman Catholic Diocese of Amarillo Post Office Box 5644 Amarillo, Texas 79117

Phone: 806-383-2243


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"With every day that Father Frank is kept off the battlefield, the pro-life effort suffers a major setback."

I don't think he's "off the battlefield"; he still has his most powerful weapon: the ability to celebrate Holy Mass and pray. In fact, many pro-lifers have been reinvigorated because of what Bp. Zurek seemingly unjustly did to Fr. Frank.
# Posted By Alan | 9/29/11 8:02 PM
Mark - I am grateful to you for supporting Fr. Frank and our innocent defenseless unborn brothers/sisters. You have demonstrated to be more Catholic then any other Catholic I have known as you've brought light to this dark bizarre situation. Many Catholics have remained silent and have not supported Fr. Frank at all. Instead these people have put their tails between their legs and remained quiet while an innocent man is punished for stating the TRUTH!
# Posted By Vero55 | 10/8/11 3:03 PM
I think sometimes non-Catholics misunderstand the nature of the priesthood. The vocation to the priesthood is primarily about celebrating the sacraments (Eucharist, confession, marriage, etc.), something only a priest can do, and no priest operates independently. Diocesan priests are under a vow to obey their bishops in regards to the assignment they take. A priest who wishes to spend most of his time on an outside ministry (like Priests for Life) must receive a dispensation from the bishop in order to operate outside of his diocese. In this case, Bishop Zurek has full authority to do what he is doing, and it does not mean that Fr. Frank has necessarily done anything wrong. It could mean simply that the bishop feels he can better serve the Church in a different capacity. Dr. Edward Peters, a canon lawyer of the Catholic Church, has written some helpful blog posts describing the technicalities of what is happening in this case as it relates to the Code of Canon Law. See:

Separately from the issue of what is required of a Catholic priest, I'd just like to note that whatever work each of us feels called to in life (be it pro-life work or something else), none of us is indispensable. We are merely God's instruments, and we make a huge error when we think that no one else can do the work that we are doing. The mission, not the person, is the most important thing. If Fr. Pavone's bishop gives him an assignment in his diocese, a new leader will take the helm of Priests for Life, and their great work will go on.

I do not know how the situation will resolve and have no particular opinion one way or the other, knowing that according to ecclesiastical protocol it is up to the bishop to decide. I only pray that the rest of the pro-life movement stays focused on its goal and does not allow itself to be distracted by this.

Mark, I thank you for all of the great work you have done for the pro-life movement. Your written apologetics in defense of the pro-life position have been invaluable to me as I try to win others over to the side of life. God bless!
# Posted By Eleanore | 10/10/11 12:48 PM
Alan, that is an interesting perspective which I definitely would not argue with. God does take evil situations and bring an even greater good out of it. To whoever is trying "to take Father Pavone down", this could blow up in their faces. We all certainly need to pray for Father Pavone; but have confidence that God's providence will prevail.
# Posted By Bob F59 | 10/10/11 1:05 PM
Mark has correctly observed that Fr Frank was removed from the battlefield at a crucial time under bewildering circumstances.Bp Zurek caused a ruckus at EWTN,near Birmingham,AL,to effect Fr Frank's recall to Amarillo.EWTN sits in Bp Burke's diocese.It's not likely Bp Zurek consulted with Bp Burke before calling EWTN to stop Fr Frank from taping his " Defending Life" show on Sept 13.So much for church protocol.
Yes people defending life.That's what Fr Frank has been about for 23 years,and all some of you can say is " Well he's not indispensable." At best that's a self serving statement.The day will come when Fr Frank isn't front and center,but it shouldn't be anytime soon with all that's at stake.
In 32 days no evidence of wrongdoing has surfaced against Fr Frank.He's been maligned and humiliated especially in the catholic press.Bp Zurek has stood by and allowed it.He's played mind games with Fr Frank and coyly manipulated the MSM. What's proper and honorable about that?
I will remain in Fr Frank's corner.
# Posted By Don | 10/15/11 10:48 AM
Time for Father Frank to part ways with the Catholic Church
and continue the work he was called to do.

God will make a way for him. There are plenty of pro-life organizations that would grab him in a heartbeat.
# Posted By Dennis | 10/20/11 3:48 PM
Mark - about four years ago, I was handed your book by Janet M. after a talk that she and Fr. Frank presented. I had such a hard time reading Lime Five - actually, I would read parts, put it down, cry and pray and read it again.

I work for Father Frank as a volunteer in Rachel's Vineyard. I have had the opportunity to meet with him several times at different pro-life functions.

I do believe him to be a man of integrity and I admire that he is being obedient to his bishop. Out of obedience comes faith - out of faith comes trust.

People can make all sorts of assumptions and assertions about politics and behind the scene intrigue, but the truth of the matter is that God is in control and that this will all work out.

I thank you for Lime Five - I thank you for your witness. against the holocaust of abortion. God Bless you -
# Posted By Lee | 10/24/11 8:25 PM
It's insanity if all this is all true. All I can say is that it's perhaps more understandable now why Fr. Corapi did what he did. Some people here are holding this obedience thing to be a license for a bishop or religious superior to commit murder.
# Posted By franas | 10/25/11 1:57 AM
Dear Bishop, I am shock, stunned upon your abhorrent acts of detainment of Father Frank......Do you know his work, his words, his outreach, his passion for babies, his love for humanity? How dare you lock him up like a common criminal? The Catholic church is suffering from all kind of accusations and wrong blame games, why are you attacking one of your shining angel? Why are you downgrading a saint like figure? I am sorry but I find your behavior to caused by anti life abortion industry.You actions speak for itself that you are under the influence of Abortion murderer business' big bosses...
# Posted By ann | 12/19/11 10:08 PM

Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics