Human Events host Jack Posobiec recently discussed the modes of intimidation currently going on within churches with Frank Pavone, Direct of Priests for Life. The two discussed why it appears that the church is deliberately evading the topics that are most culturally relevant in the US right now.
Posobiec asked Pavone why it appears that the church is unwilling to touch on “some of the major issues that the church and that our country is facing today,” adding that it seems church leaders are more likely to discuss incidents about being “stuck in traffic” and “checking out at a grocery store.”
Pavone agreed with Posobiec’s assessment, adding that he has been leading the Priests for Life group for the past 30 years. He said that his group has been “trying to activate the leaders to be leaders, particularly on the abortion issue, but that intersects with this whole host of other issues that the left is pushing in one direction, and the church, frankly, is pushing in the opposite direction.”
Pavone said that he took his cue from Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who “founded the abortion industry in America,” adding that Nathanson intended to divide and silence the Catholic Church. Pavone said that Nathanson only revealed this after he became pro-life. The doctor’s intent was to make the Catholic Church seem as if it was bigoted and irrelevant, which was also used to “cower the clergy into silence.”
Pavone said that Nathanson was an encouragement for his own work, noting that the doctor had said that “if we had gotten the clergy to speak up at the time that he and his associates were building the abortion industry, he said it would have never gotten away with what they did.” Pavone gestured toward the idea that the Catholic clergy today are effectively told to keep silent.
He said: “So we have now a situation where it looks like not only silence from the clergy, but active collaboration with the other side. And people might say, ‘Well, how can that possibly be?’ The experience I’ve had is that you’ve got a lot of…let’s just talk about priests for the moment. A lot of them [are] eager and willing to speak up. They would be in agreement with everything that you and I are saying, as we speak to the public, and yet when they try, they are told by their bishops or their religious superiors to tone it down, or to shut up.”
Pavone continued: “I can’t tell you how many times priests have come to me and they’ve said, ‘Listen, we love your work. We get your sermon tips, we look at your prayers that you provide for the parishes. We love the projects that you’re doing,’ and then they say to me, ‘We wish we could do more, but we’d get in trouble with our bishop if we did so.'”
Pavone noted that there are some leaders within the church who have suggested that some of the issues facing the US right now are “too political” or “too divisive” to really do anything about, adding that there are church leaders who are “trapped in a system that is telling them, ‘Be quiet.'”
He concluded: “And there’s more here than meets the eye. And I think [I’ve] been dealing with this for 30 years. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the case. But I don’t even fully understand what all the dynamics here are that are at work, but it’s pretty clear: We’ve got a system of intimidation going on here within the church.”
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