Last Updated on December 18, 2022

The Catholic Church is in crisis mode, right before Christmas, and attacking a conservative religious priest for his advocacy to protect the lives of pre-born babies, just as people worldwide prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Father Frank Pavone appears to be standing as a dissident to the Pope and the Vatican and in defense of pro-life Catholic laity, the unborn, and the word of God.

Pavone, the national director of the organization Priests for Life, has been dismissed from the clerical state for “blasphemous communications on social media” and “persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop,” Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported Sunday morning as Catholics all over the world entered places of worship on their sacred sabbath observances.

The news was shocking to his faithful followers and taken as a blow to Pavone’s hard work as a Catholic advocate to a political movement of hundreds of millions of conservative populists.

One poster on Twitter put it perfectly: “Serious question: What were his “blasphemous communications on social media”? I understand the accusation of disobedience, but I find it hard to believe the blasphemy charge.”

Lifesite news reacted immediately with a petition in honor of Pavone and his priestly advocacy for pre-born babies:

Pavone did tweet a short statement on Saturday, appearing to stand firmly in his beliefs.

National File reached out to Father Pavone and has yet to make contact with him about the situation; however, CNA was able to speak to him on Sunday, according to their coverage:

In a Dec. 13 letter to U.S. bishops obtained by CNA and confirmed by multiple sources as authentic, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, wrote that the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy issued the decision on Nov. 9, adding that there was “no possibility of appeal.”

“Father Pavone was given ample opportunity to defend himself in the canonical proceedings, and he was also given multiple opportunities to submit himself to the authority of his diocesan bishop,” explains a separate statement attached to Pierre’s letter. “It was determined that Father Pavone had no reasonable justification for his actions.”

Pavone, however, told CNA Saturday that he had not been notified about the Vatican’s judgment.

CNA coverage goes on to add more details about the statement they claim to have gotten from the Vatican, which notably has no further information about the nature of the offense Pacone is being charged with:

“Since Priests for Life, Inc. is not a Catholic organization, Mr. Pavone’s continuing role in it as a lay person would be entirely up to the leadership of that organization,” the statement says.

Pavone is still saying Masses, including one streamed online Saturday. The Priests for Life website states that Pavone “is a Catholic priest in good standing, and exercises his ministry in full communion with the Catholic Church.”

In an email to CNA on Saturday, Pavone said that he was not aware of the Vatican’s action.

“How did CNA learn about this before I did?” he asked. In a subsequent email he added that CNA’s inquiry was “the very first communication that came to me about this.”

Reactions to the action by Pope Francais, who is considered by many to be a radical Marxist, were not pleasant:

Ryan Ellis @RyanLEllis posted on Twitter, “You’re not allowed to be pro-life in Pope Francis Church.”

This story is still developing.

RELATED: Bibles Return to Florida School District’s Library After Initially Being Flagged for Review

RELATED: Josh Hawley Demands Merrick Garland Testify As To Why FBI Wielded Unnecessary SWAT Power To Arrest Pro-Life Activist