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.
But there was a serious problem on Freerepublic when a poster pretended to be conservative, and got the aide of the Governor of Maryland (Republican) to say things that got conservatives in trouble.
Freerepublic Mail was used by the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post to print information that should have been private.
My real problem is your handle Chipendale - a male strip club.
My question to you: Would you be comfortable with someone whose handle was I Love Linda Lovelace? Linda Lovelace was an actress in the hard core pornography movie Deep Throat. [Linda Lovelace literally had a gun put to her head to that hard core pornography film -- by her husband].
Finally, what you are asking about doesn't help me and does not help God.
I am hoping that being somewhat critical of Father Frank Pavone will make him focus more on this Spiritual Life and help the Spiritual Lives of his employees.
Humility is good for us all -- including Father Frank Pavone.
But with what you asked and what you posted before, I had to draw the line. Period.
Rumor and gossip that becomes slander is a very serious sin (lying).
To ask my opinion of people is a form of spreading gossip and rumor.
In the case of Father Frank Pavone, he is very public, and he is under spiritual attack.
It is my opinion that he needs to make sure that he focuses on spiritually, when is easy NOT to do when one is juggling as many balls as he does with being head of a number of organizations and trying to directly manage 30-40 people.
Freerepublic is about my many way to try to get him to understand how important spirituality is. And he may now...