10-September-2001 -- P |

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FATHER PAVONE ASKED TO LEAVE PRIEST FOR LIFE

New York -- Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life for the past eight years, has been asked by Cardinal Edward Egan to resume full-time work within the Archdiocese of New York and leave his present position with Priests for Life. The reason for the decision is the need for parish priests in New York, and is consistent with similar decisions of the Cardinal to call back many other New York priests who are on special assignment.

Anthony DeStefano, Executive Director of Priests for Life, made the following statement:

"We are shocked at what has happened and frankly can't make heads or tails of it. Neither can other pro-life leaders worldwide. I know that Fr. Frank has committed his entire life to ending the tragedy of abortion. He has told me that he is preparing an important public statement to be made in the near future. He is continuing to negotiate with the Cardinal through all the proper channels and in accordance with the demands of Canon Law.

"In the meantime, in order to avoid any wrong impression that Priests for Life would operate without the blessing of the Church, Fr. Pavone has officially transferred the leadership of the organization to me and his other close associates, until such time that a new priests director is chosen. He and the organization have a long track record of fidelity to the Church and the bishops, and Fr. Frank does not want the organization which he built and which he loves so much to suffer because of a decision to transfer him."

DeStefano also said that Priests for Life would continue on the course Fr. Pavone has set for the organization.

"We have detailed plans that were formulated by Fr. Pavone which we will

follow to the letter. Nothing is going to stop this organization from doing the things that have made us so effective in the past eight years. I am confident that all our friends and benefactors in the pro-life movement will continue to work harder than ever with us to make this happen."

Fr. Pavone is one of the leading voices in the pro-life movement. Cardinal John O'Connor appointed him to Priests for Life in 1993. Since that time, Fr. Pavone has transformed the fledgling group into an international organization with a multi-million dollar budget, a staff of almost 40 full-time employees, four full-time priests, and a global media outreach.

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