She quit, she said, after an incident in which she alleges Pavone “had me backed up against a wall, and was stroking my hair, and stroking my shoulder.”
She added: “I wonder why I didn’t knee him in the groin.”
Worthington said she brought her accusations to the Diocese of Amarillo in 2009. She told The Pillar that “a deacon in the diocese” contacted her and told her that she “was of age, and that was pretty much it.”
CNA was unable to reach Worthington for comment Wednesday.
The Diocese of Amarillo has not responded to CNA’s repeated requests for comment.
Pavone issued a statement about the allegations Wednesday.
“I am enormously saddened by recent efforts of some to revisit old accusations that contain numerous inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and mistruths, that have already been addressed,” Pavone said.
“Over a decade ago, my bishop at that time thoroughly investigated these claims and confirmed that I was in good standing and fully suitable for ministry,” he continued.
“Throughout the past 34 years of my service, it has always been my intent to treat every person with respect, integrity, and professionalism. Of course, I’m sure there have been times in my life where I’ve somehow missed the mark and unintentionally made someone feel uncomfortable. I’m sorry to anyone who might have ever taken offense in such moments, and I have always faithfully served the priesthood,” Pavone said.
“I remain focused on the enormously vital work of Priests for Life,” he concluded. “As always, we remain steadfast in our mission to expand and protect the sanctity and gift of life. We are saving lives and making significant gains in our unstoppable efforts to make abortion unthinkable.”
Jonah McKeown is a staff writer and podcast producer for Catholic News Agency. He holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has worked as a writer, as a producer for public radio, and as a videographer. He is based in St. Louis.
Joseph Bukuras is a staff writer at the Catholic News Agency. Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The Catholic University of America. He has interned in the U.S. House of Representatives, on a U.S. Senate campaign, in the Massachusetts State House of Representatives, and at the Susan B. Anthony List. He is based out of the Boston area.