Christianity Daily [Los Angeles CA]
February 11, 2023
By Bernadette Salapare
Frank Pavone was recently dismissed from the priesthood in Dec. 2022 and allegedly committed misconduct from at least four women. According to Christian Forums, Frank Pavone has been asked to step down from his position as national director of the pro-life organization Priests for Life by two former executives of the organization. It is to provide room for an impartial investigation into his behavior.
Call for Resignation of Frank Pavone
On Friday, Feb. 10, the two formal officials of the Priests for Life, Andrew Smith and Father Stephen Imbarrato, released an official statement. They were reportedly dismayed by Pavone’s arrogant response to his dismissal from the priesthood as well as the charges that he sexually assaulted women who worked for Priests for Life. Andrew Smith was a former staff and board member of Priests for Life, while Father Stephen Imbarrato served as a member of the organization’s pastoral team.
As per the Catholic News Agency, Andrew Smith said that the director of Priests for life could pay the employees, which would make the organization incapable of conducting an unbiased investigation. With this in mind, Smith asserts that, for the sake of the Church and the pro-life movement, an immediate, impartial, and independent investigation of the current claims against Frank Pavone is necessary. These claims date back over two decades and involve at least four women, as far as they know. They pose alarming concerns that cannot be brushed aside or ignored.
Frank Pavone Misconduct
In an article from the Church Militant, it has been confirmed by multiple witnesses, including two priests, that the leader of Priests for Life, Frank Pavone, has been accused of “boundary violations” by a number of different women. For 22 years, Father Stephen Imbarrato has known Pavone and worked at Priests for Life (PFL) from 2015 to 2018. He revealed to Church Militant that a female employee was the subject of Pavone’s inappropriate behavior during his time in the organization.
Imabarrato stated that during his work at PFL for more than three years, he counseled a woman who had to deal with harassment from Pavone and eventually quit her job at PFL because of his inappropriate activities. Following the woman’s resignation, Imbarrato urged the PFL to establish a sexual harassment committee to protect potential victims against wrongdoing, including Pavone’s grooming of possible victims.
Accordingly, PFL did not have a human resources department or a harassment committee that was secure, independent, or confidential for its staff members who experienced harassment. Imabarrato also had an awareness of the other victims of Povito. He left after the board, at his demand, established an independent and confidential employee harassment committee to protect PFL employees from future inappropriate behavior. Moreover, he confirmed that the PFl compensated the woman she counseled.
Independently, another priest confirmed that he also witnessed the alleged sexual harassment of Pavone by other women. The second priest worked with Pavone for several years in the early 2000s. Several women reportedly approached him, and they were harassed by either caressing their shoulders or inviting them into his office late at night alone.