Well-known pro-life priest Fr. Frank Pavone has been denied an award he was scheduled to receive for his pro-life work, after the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum backtracked on its original decision citing political and ecclesiastical reasons.

The Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum is run by the Legionaries of Christ. The university had originally announced on January 7 that Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life since 1993, would receive the “A life for life” award. Swiss-based Associazione Sant’ Elena Imperatrice would also provide a financial gift to “support Father Pavone’s mission.”

The award was intended to honor Pavone’s “decades of service in the promotion of a culture of life,” according to the now-deleted announcement. “The event will highlight Father Pavone’s role as founder and director of the Priests for Life organization. In addition, it will recognize his activism in speaking in defense of the unborn.”

However, a few days later, the university withdrew the award from Pavone, as announced in a very brief press release: “After taking into account aspects that were not considered in the original decision, the School of Bioethics will withhold from offering the prize to Fr. Frank Pavone. We apologize for any trouble that this has caused. We thank all people who value, love, respect and defend human life. The next edition of ‘Una vita per la vita’ will be offered in 2022.”

Reportedly, Fr. Gonzalo Miranda L.C, dean of the faculty of bioethics at the university, had previously mentioned that “members of the faculty considered possible objections to honoring Pavone, including the ‘political questions where people can have different opinions, but that is not what we are rewarding.’” Despite reservations by members of the faculty, the decision to bestow the award on Pavone was made because “the award honors a person who has dedicated his life to defending the sacredness of human life.”

However, after canceling the award, Miranda then said that the most recent decision had been taken due to “a sum of factors, especially in relation to the political situation, but also ecclesial….”

The above comes from a Jan. 15 story in Life Site News.