Fr Pavone Under Fire.
I had read several times about Fr Pavone and if you use the search function of this blog, you might find an entry or two about him. I liked his pro-life commitment and the way he engages to do that which too many clergymen do not want to do.
It would now appear that his Bishop has suspended him and has ordered him to come back to Amarillo, alleging that Fr Pavone has disobeyed him by not allowing the accounts of his 10-million-bucks-a-year charity to be audited.
One would say that this is (then) Father Corapi all over again (poor chap, by the way; what has happened to him? I see dark clouds there, but I digress…), but in this case the circumstances appear rather different because Fr Pavone obeys to the bishop (coming back to Amarillo as ordered) even when he is not obliged to (as he has already appealed, and the appeal allows him to wait for the decision; I am not an expert in canon law but I’d say that we have seen this in the case of bishop Nourrichard).
The matter here is rather disconcerting for a different reason: the bishop says that Fr Pavone doesn’t want to have his books audited; Fr Pavone says that the books are audited but the bishops doesn’t want to acknowledge that they are. As the matter of auditing of financial statements is heavily regulated all over the West and not much of a grey zone seems possible, I am sure that we will rather soon know who is talking without thinking here. If Fr Pavone picked his cousin to audit the financial statements because he happens to be an accountancy student, the books are not audited and I think he’s in trouble; if he had the accounts regularly audited I think the Bishop will have some explaining to do.
The other matter rather reminiscent of the Corapi affair is the bishop’s accusation about “persistent questions remained unanswered” regarding how the money is used (hence the great need for auditing, of course). Once again, either the books have been properly audited, or they haven’t. If they have, it should have been for the auditors to express concerns, if such areas of concerns had been established. If they haven’t, the problem is there irrespective of Pavone having being wasteful or not.
It is sad to see that once again, a famous priest makes headlines for the wrong reasons. On the other hand, if a scandal is really on the making (and be that one of careless administration) the Latin saying oportet ut scandala eveniant has once again deserved its excellent reputation.
As in Corapi’s case, Fr Pavone should be presumed innocent until found guilty.
I truly hope we won’t see him soon photographed in a motorcycle jacket, though.