“We are very sorry for the misunderstandings and objections this situation caused.”
One week after announcing plans to give the controversial priest an award, a university in Rome has done a complete 180.
For a variety of reasons, “especially in relation to the political situation” in the United States, the Legionaries of Christ university in Rome will not honor Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said the head of the university’s bioethics faculty.
The bioethics department of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum had announced Jan. 7 on the university’s website that it would give Pavone its “A Life for Life” Award and that a Switzerland-based association would provide a monetary prize “to recognize and support Father Pavone’s mission.”
Less than a week later, the university’s academic vice rector issued a statement saying, “Taking into account elements that were not considered at the time of the original decision, the Faculty of Bioethics will forego the awarding of the prize to Father Frank Pavone.”
“We are very sorry for the misunderstandings and objections this situation caused,” said the statement signed by Legionaries of Christ Fr. David Koonce.
Asked what the additional “elements” were, Legionaries of Christ Fr. Gonzalo Miranda, dean of the bioethics faculty, told Catholic News Service Jan. 14, “It was a sum of factors, especially in relation to the political situation, but also ecclesial.”