Skip to comments.Catholic Pro Life Leaders - Msgr Philip Riley and Father Frank Pavone
Posted on 11/21/2006 10:37:01 PM PST by topher
New York City has a couple of important Pro Life leaders in the Catholic Church.
One is Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. The other is Monsignor Philip Riley of the Helpers of Gods Precious Infants.
Though both are priests, they take totally different approaches to Pro-Life. Father Frank Pavone rarely visits an abortion clinic (to my knowledge) when he is in New York City. Monsignor Riley, on the other hand,tries to go every day to an abortion clinic in Brooklyn.
Father Frank Pavone focuses on Television and Radio ministries to achieve results for Pro-Life as well as uses the Internet.
Monsignor Philip Riley focues on prayer and trying to get people to organize groups to go to abortion clinics everyday if possible and try to talk to the women/girls before they enter the abortion clinic.
Even though I worked for Father Frank Pavone, I witnessed Monsignor Riley being far more active in talking to the women at the abortion clinics.
The fruits of the two priests are different.
I am greatly impressed with Monsignor Riley. One Saturday in May, 2006, there were 14 babies saved that day and only 12 abortions. It is rare at any abortion clinic that a baby is saved (a woman/girl changing her mind and going to a CPC for help).
Yet this the power of prayer. Monsignor Riley has a booklet for Pro-Lifers to pray 3 hours at abortion clinics. If one follows this booklet/book, they will pray 20 decades of the rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, sing a number of songs, perform the Stations of the cross as well as a number of readings and other prayers/litanies in the three hour time.
Father Frank Pavone, focuses on a much more worldly approach - staying at hotels, broadcasting on Television and Radio, as well as sending out email blasts. For Father Frank Pavone, information is a weapon. Politics is the way to end abortion - making trips to Washington to visit even with Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Ted Kennedy as well as other senators such as Senator Brownback of Kanaas.
Father Frank Pavone is probably the greatest Pro-Life leader in the country - ranking among Dr. Dobson and others. He is a director on the group CBR and regularly meets with other pro-life leaders.
But I personally found Father Frank Pavone to lack spiritual depth. When he travels, he tries to find the best accomdations. He rarely will spend a weekend in a rectory as a place to spend the night or even a monastery. Home for Father Frank is Hilton, Marriott, other hotels.
Additionally of concern are how few weekends Father Frank will spend in a Parish saying Mass - in New York City, Washington, DC or even on the road. His Thanksgiving Day Mass might be a Mass in the chapel in his Priests for Life building and not in a church.
Though Father Frank Pavone is a very talented individual, he rarely delegates things that can be done by other people. This means that he is often short of time, and this makes life difficult for his employees (myself being a former one). His time is considered so valuable that five or six employees might run his personal errands at a given time.
This could create a potential problem for Priests for Life and the Pro-Life Movement if he is ever taken ill for a period of time - he refuses to allow others to help with his work load.
Father Frank Pavone is a stark contrast to Monsignor Philip Riley. Father Frank Pavone would be lost without his laptop; Monsignor Riley would be lost without his rosary and other spiritual weapons.
One aspect of my concern was that when it was announced that Priests for Life would form an order of priests, I asked Father Frank Pavone if they would have a vow of poverty. The word poverty seemed to send shivers down the spine of Father Frank Pavone.
Father Frank Pavone will allows be successul. But there is a question if he maintains a proper spirituality for a priest without becoming too engrossed in worldly issues.
That is the irony of the two priests. One is intensely spiritual and does not want creature comforts and other priest seems to want these creature comforts.
Out of respect for Monsignor Riley (who is in his 70s), I held an umbrella over his head as he prayed and was talking to priests from Priests for Life on a cold and rainy day. He did not want me to do that for him, though it is my belief he appreciated it being done. Because of a bout with skin cancer, he wears a hat to protect himself from the sun.
The car that Monsignor Riley drives is a very humble car but adequate. Father Frank Pavone, on the other hand previous to ride in comfort - though he is half the age of Monsignor Riley.
I have no doubt that Monsignor Riley will get others to form groups and carry the torch for him even after his death.
Father Frank Pavone, though the greatest pro-life leader, might have problems with organization when he leaves this world or has health problem.
One is a humble, spiritual priest.
One is a successful, proud priest who is also a TV star who knows his way around airports and hotels, but may not be as familar with churches in given cities.
They provide contrasting aspects of two priests in the pro-life movement who are important leaders.
Luke 10:38-42 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (NIV)
NIV -- Luke 10:38-42
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
The words of Jesus are what is important. Mary chose to listen to the words of Jesus.
Martha on the other hand chose to prepare a place for Jesus.
It is my belief that the Words of Jesus are the most important thing.
The word of this world will be done if we are eager to follow the words of Jesus, and love God with whole Heart, Mind and Soul.
If I am open to the Words of Jesus, then I should be willing to do the will of God, and to keep His commandments.
And if I trust God this will all happen.
And, yes, I must work, but the Holy Spirit must provide guidance for me.
I pray for the Shepherds of the Pro-Life movement!
I also thought that I was not treated very well. Five years ago when I worked for PFL, I just could not cope with living in NYC [substandard living in my opinion], and how PFL was run.
Even after 5 years I have serious issues about this.
I tried about two years ago to talk to a priest about this, but it started to come out as clergy abuse, so I dropped any pursuit of my healing for the sake of the church.
I just hope that PFL changes for the better -- in terms of treatment of employees, and the attention to the spiritual life of the employees.
Some of the priests at PFL (Father Peter West, Father Denis Wilde, and Father Jim Heyd) would offer to say Masses and invite employees to attend. Employees would go after work hours, and these Masses did not interfere with the work these priests needed to do.
I appreciated what these priests did at PFL. Father Jim Heyd was really the only person besides one other employee who tried to befriend me while I was at PFL. The other employee was banned from FreeRepublic.com, so we hit it off with my being a Freeper.
Spiritual Warfare is such an important aspect of Pro-Life that what went on when I worked there is a RED FLAG in my mind.
I hope that if a priest is not as spiritual as he should be, he would focus on this.
In 1994 or 1995, I heard Father Marx, founder of HLI, speak at a Pro-Life Conference in Dallas.
I am not worried about skeletons in his closet. He is under spiritual attack, but unlike Fr. Eutenuer and John Corapi, he is surrounded by priests. Father Peter West is normally in the office every day, and there are other priests there from time to time.
His pre-occupation with pro-life work keeps him out of trouble...
I am invoking my MD4Bush rights here...
Though the 2oth century (typing MD4Bush used) is past, the lessons learned of the past should not be forgotten.
If someone is delibrately trying to use Freerepublic for foul things for LIBERAL CAUSES, then what is to be done.
I am being cryptic for a reason.
Basically, Jesus said:
[See also Luke 6:43-45]
Matt 7:16-20 [NIV]
16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
[See also Luke 6:43-45]
If you were a genuine Freerepublic poster, you have no activity on other threads of any sort.
A tree is known by its fruit.