Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 10, 2023 / 15:50 pm
Two former officials of Priests for Life are calling for laicized priest Frank Pavone to step down as national director of the pro-life organization to allow for an independent investigation of his conduct.
In a joint statement released Friday, Andrew Smith, a former employee and board member of Priests for Life, and Father Stephen Imbarrato, who served as a member of the organization’s pastoral team, said they have been dismayed by Pavone’s defiant response to being dismissed from the priesthood, as well as allegations first published by the Catholic news outlet The Pillar that he sexually harassed women who worked for Priests for Life.
“It is with this mindset that I now say that for the good of the Church and the pro-life movement, it is necessary that an immediate, impartial, and independent investigation take place into the recent allegations against Frank Pavone,” Smith, who worked for Priests for Life from 2000 to 2004 and served on its board from 2014 to 2021, said in his statement.
“These allegations go back more than two decades and involve at least 4 women that we know of. They raise very disturbing concerns that cannot be simply covered up or shoved aside,” he said.