I seriously, seriously did not want to write about this man again.
Let me ask a hypothetical question. What if a priest tried to preach against rape, by parading a naked rape survivor into the church, still bleeding from her injury, and having her sit on the altar for a photo?
Okay, what if a priest was preaching against nuclear war, so he found the corpse of a person who died from radiation poisoning and slung them naked onto the altar, lit the candles, then put on a HazMat suit and posed behind them for a photo?
What if a priest wanted to preach against the death penalty, so they took the naked and still-dirty corpse of a hanging victim, the face all black and bloated, stuck it on the altar with the limbs all helter skelter and the rictus of a face staring at the congregation, stood behind him and took a selfie?
What if they wanted to preach against drone attacks, so they took burnt flesh and bones scraped out of a destroyed building, sprinkled them on the altar and posed?
It is wrong to use dead people as political props. Most people know that. The Catechism of the Catholic Church specifically states:
The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy; it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.
That’s why there’s so much controversy surrounding news videos of murdered Daesh victims. That’s one of the reasons why pro-life leaders like Abby Johnson have been telling people for years that it’s wrong to show photos of aborted babies at abortion clinic protests– that, and that it’s ineffective.
Yep, Father Frank Pavone. I will not further dishonor that poor dead child by sharing the photo in question, but you can find it right at Priests For Life’s Facebook feed. He is not shy about it. He took the remains of a late-term aborted fetus which someone sent him, made no effort to clean the body or lay it out properly, did not dress the infant or even cover his private parts, slung him on the altar curled up in fetal position, lit the candles and posed for a publicity photo. He shared the photo on Priests for Life with a caption endorsing the admitted sexual assailant Donald Trump by name, which seems to me to be a clear violation of his 501-c3 status.
But getting back to that matter of the naked dead baby for a minute. I thought that Father Pavone thought the unborn were human beings? I thought that was the sole thing that he and I had in common? I thought that that was the very reason that abortion was wrong? Because fetuses are human beings, and therefore have all the dignity that a human being has, up to and including treating their corpse with dignity?
Just barring the fact that Pavone is using the baby as a political prop here, did he not think to treat that baby’s remains with the slightest bit of dignity? If he wasn’t going to place them in a coffin, at least wrap a nice little white blanket around them? Why was the baby on the ALTAR instead of in a casket at the foot of the altar, like at every other Catholic funeral for an infant I’ve ever attended?
Human bodies are not objects for us to exploit. As we do to them, we do to Christ.
(image via Pixabay)