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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Dec 21, 2022

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at


The apostolic nuncio in the US says that Frank Pavone was laicized in early November. Pavone says that, as of mid-December, he had not been informed of the Vatican’s disciplinary action. Something is very wrong here.

Bear in mind that we have only heard Pavone’s side of the story. Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo, who initiated canonical proceedings against the pro-life activist, has not commented on the recent announcement. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio, has provided two terse, vague paragraphs of explanation. The Vatican Dicastery for Clergy, which imposed the sentence, has told us nothing. In the absence of a clear explanation for this unusually severe penalty, many Catholics who admire Pavone’s work are understandably confused, upset, even outraged. Still the hierarchy remains silent. …

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