We Are All The Defrocked Priest Who Posed For Selfies With An Aborted Fetus On The Altar Of His Church

Frank Pavone — a defrocked priest who posed for selfies with an aborted fetus on the altar of his church — is the only person terrible enough to embody 2022.

Jude Ellison S. Doyle
4 min readDec 19, 2022

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A statue of Jesus, with a stunned expression on his face.
Jesus takes a moment to process the news. Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

Covering abortion rights in this country is a bummer. So is watching the steady deterioration of the Roman Catholic Church. Sometimes, though, you land on a special story — something that really reminds you why you cover both institutions.

Frank Pavone, who was defrocked by the Vatican for “heresy,” is that story. “I’ve never heard that accusation against him,” noted a Pavone fan on Twitter. “What did he do?”

If you can’t read that reply, then — to my delight — I get to repeat it for you. It says: “He placed the corpse of an aborted baby on an altar, posed with it for photos, then posted it on social media with a caption urging people to vote for Trump.”

Friends: That’s exactly what Frank Pavone (the priest recently defrocked by the Vatican for taking selfies with an aborted fetus on the altar of his church) seems to have done. Now he isn’t a priest any more.

The de-priesting has evidently not inspired much self-reflection on Pavone’s part. As per NPR, he recently posted that “So in every profession, including the priesthood, if you defend the #unborn, you will be treated like them! The only difference is that when we are ‘aborted,’ we continue to speak, loud and clear.”

To be clear: If you continue to speak, loud and clear, you were not aborted. It’s also pretty uncommon to be aborted as an adult man. Frank Pavone is confusing the condition of “being aborted” with “the Pope finding out that you took selfies with an aborted fetus on the altar of your church,” and that, friends, is evidently not the only point of Catholic doctrine on which Frank Pavone is a bit unclear.

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Jude Ellison S. Doyle

Author of “Trainwreck” (Melville House, ‘16) and “Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers” (Melville House, ‘19). Columns published far and wide across the Internet.