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A pro-life priest is begging the United States' bishops to lift their restrictions on clerical, political speech.
On Thursday, Fr. Frank Pavone wrote an open letter to the U.S. Catholic hierarchy, asking them to either act — or permit the clergy to act — in the upcoming election.
Father Pavone told Church Militant that he and his organization, Priests for Life, have faced a consistent internal roadblock with the bishops, calling their lackluster response to Democrats' abortion policies "embarrassing" and saying they need to "stop being hamstrung by their attorneys and act according to their own judgments."
Canon 287, §2 states that clerics shouldn't have an active part in political parties unless allowed by an ecclesiastical authority for the "defense of the rights of the Church or to promote the common good."
Specifically regarding the partisan divide on abortion, he claims, "We do not have a division simply on policy, but on principle. Our political divide is not simply about prudential judgments, but about 'the fundamental rights of man' and 'the salvation of souls.'"
Pavone has taken fire in the past for his support of President Trump after becoming a member of the Catholics for Trump advisory board and co-chairing the Trump 2020 campaign's pro-life coalition.
Pro-life priests are currently banned from telling their parishioners to prefer the Republican Party, though it's the only major party fighting abortion. And without the bishops' approval, priests like Fr. Pavone will continue to be hindered in their fight for the unborn.