The Faculty of Bioethics of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum will grant the Una vita per la vita (A Life for Life) award to Fr. Frank Pavone in recognition of his decades of service in the promotion of a culture of life on January 25, 2021 at 17:00 Rome time. The Una vita per la vita award is given to individuals who have distinguished themselves through research or work in the field of bioethics or in the promotion of respect for human life. Past recipients include William E. May, Luke Gormally, and Flora Gualdani.
The even will highlight Fr. Pavone’s role as founder and Director of the Priests for Life organization. In addition, it will recognize his activism in speaking in defense of the unborn. Pavone has served as Pastoral Director of Rachel’s Vineyard, which offers spiritual healing to women who have pursued abortions and to husbands affected by their wife’s decision. Moreover, he is Pastoral Director of the Silent No More campaign, which has given a needed platform to women to express their regret over abortion.
As part of the ceremony, the Associazinoe Sant’Elena Imperatrice has committed to financial prize to recognize and support Pavone’s mission.
About the institution honoring him:
The Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum is an ecclesiastical institution of higher education promoted by the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, canonically erected by the Congregation for Catholic Education on September 15, 1993; it is regulated by the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium (VG) and is part of the network of universities of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, actively collaborating according to their common charism and mission of evangelization.
Father Pavone was active in President Trump’s re-election campaign last year, but stepped down after a few months last summer, stating:
“I’ve been requested by the competent ecclesiastical authority not to have an official title/position on the advisory boards. So, as a priest in good standing, I’ve followed that request.”
However, he remained outspoken in his support of President Trump — sometimes using language that raised eyebrows on social media. In September, the Diocese of Amarillo, after receiving several requests and inquiries, issued a statement:
Recently Father Frank Pavone has posted a variety of messages and statements in regard to the General Elections in November, 2020. These postings on Social Media as videos concern the serious sinfulness of voting for candidates of a particular political party (with refusal of absolution if confessed) and the use of scandalous words not becoming of a Catholic priest. These postings are not consistent with Catholic Church teachings. Neither the Catholic Church nor the Diocese of Amarillo condone any of these messages. Please disregard them and pray for Father Pavone.
A report at the time offered some context:
In tweets that were subsequently deleted, Pavone last weekend reportedly called Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden a “[expletive] loser” and said the Democratic party was “God-hating” and “America-hating” and that Biden’s supporters “can’t say a [expletive] thing in support of their loser candidate without using the word Trump.”
“What the hell do you have to say for yourselves, losers?” Pavone asked.
As the diocesan statement indicated, Pavone also reportedly tweeted that he would hear the confession of a Catholic who votes Democrat, “but we are trained that in the absence of repentance, absolution has to be withheld.”
In other videos posted on the Priests for Life Facebook page, Pavone referred to the “terrible mistake of even considering voting Democrat.”
Asked in April whether he had obtained permission from his bishop to officially campaign for Trump’s re-election, Pavone would not answer directly; he said that he had not been forbidden from doing so, and that communication with his bishop was a “dysfunctional process.”