Editor’s Note: There are some important observations and authoritative information made known in this commentary. It is balanced, but does not discuss the canonical process.
Though I disagree with his position, that a priest who has this attitude to obedience to his superiors should be laicized, since as Canon 145 says, offices in the Church exist for a spiritual end, and are given by the Church or by Christ. Therefore, obedience in the Church cannot be determined solely on the basis of compliance with a human superior, but must consider the salvation of souls and the honor and glory of God. Thus both parties in such a dispute, the superior and the subject, must be judged according to the same norms. I have not yet heard any evidence that the comportment of Father Pavone merited laicization, as I am not aware he has injured the salvation of other persons’ souls by anything alleged against him. As for certain apostolates, too, a nationwide or worldwide apostolate might require a local ordinary to be less rigorous in his demands regarding lesser things, than he would be with priests exercising local ministries. But, as Father Imbaratto says, I do not know what I do not know, so I will leave it there.
And for justice sake, I think we should look at the weighty testimony in Father’s favor, which Fr. Imbaratto does not cite: