Anti-abortion priest-activist suspended by bishop

September 13, 2011 - 3:40 PM

A Roman Catholic priest nationally known for his anti-abortion activism is being accused by his bishop of failing to account for millions of dollars in donations.

Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, is ordering the Rev. Frank Pavone (pah-VONE) to stop his work outside the diocese and return to Amarillo for "prayer and reflection". Zurek described his concerns in a letter that became public Tuesday.

Pavone says the claims are baseless. He's asking Vatican officials to intervene.

Pavone leads Priest for Life, which has an annual budget of about $10 million. He's a popular speaker who gave the sermon at the funeral for Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman whose case sparked a bitter legal battle.

A bishop's spokesman did not respond to request for comment.