AMARILLO, Texas — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Amarillo says it’s investigating a priest who placed an aborted fetus on his altar and posted a video of it on two social media sites.
The Amarillo Globe-News reports that Amarillo Diocese Bishop Patrick J. Zurek says the Nov. 6 “action and presentation of Father (Frank) Pavone in this video is not consistent with the beliefs of the Catholic Church.”
In the video posted to Facebook, Pavone said Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform would allow abortion to continue and that Donald Trump and the Republican platform want to protect unborn children. A shorter version was posted on Instagram.
In his Tuesday statement, Zurek said the diocese “deeply regrets the offense and outrage caused by the video for the faithful and the community at large.”
“Father Frank Pavone has posted a video on his Facebook page of the body of an aborted fetus, which is against the dignity of human life and is a desecration of the altar. We believe that no one who is pro-life can exploit a human body for any reason, especially the body of a fetus,” Zurek’s statement said.
Pavone responded to the controversy his action created in a Nov. 8 post on his Facebook page, writing, “I want to offer you a sincere apology, brothers and sisters, for any unnecessary offense, any confusion, division that’s been created, because there are those out there who are deliberately stirring up that confusion.
“Some people say, ‘Oh, Father Frank, you’re out of your mind.’ You know what? Maybe that’s the place for normal people to be when we’re living in the middle of a holocaust and many people are ready to elect a woman who cares nothing about these babies, who wants us to pay for their destruction,” he wrote, referring to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Pavone was ordained a priest of the New York Archdiocese in 1988 but was incardinated into the Amarillo Diocese in 2005 by Bishop John W. Yanta, then head of the diocese, who served on the organization’s board of advisers. In 2012, the Vatican Congregation of the Clergy issued a decree allowing Pavone to minister outside the Diocese of Amarillo, but he still must obtain specific permission to do so from Zurek.