Catholic priest Frank Pavone is at the centre of a firestorm after he placed an aborted foetus on an altar in what has been described as an “atrocious” anti-abortion stunt.
According to this report, Pavone – who heads New York-based Priests for Life – said the foetus was entrusted to him by a pathologist for burial.
Pavone posted a video of his grisly act on YouTube to highlight Hillary Clinton’s pro-abortion stance. He said on Facebook:
We have to decide if we will allow this child killing to continue in America or not. Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform says yes, let the child-killing continue (and you pay for it); Donald Trump and the Republican platform says no, the child should be protected.
A call placed to the spokesman for the Diocese of Amarillo in Texas, which is Pavone’s diocese, was not immediately returned Monday. The receptionist, however, said her phone has been ringing off the hook.
In a blog post for the Archdiocese of New York, Ed Mechmann wrote about the “revulsion” he felt about the video.
A human being has been sacrificed and the altar of God has been desecrated, all for politics. Everyone who respects the dignity of every human person should reject and disavow this atrocity.
And in a blog post for Patheos, Scott Eric Alt argued that what Pavone did was “sacrilege”, a violation of Catholic Church canon law, which states that the altar is:
Reserved for divine worship alone, to the exclusion of any secular usage. Being pro-life is about respecting the dignity of the human person. It is the antithesis of respect for the dignity of the human person to use a dead child as a political prop to lobby for your presidential candidate the day before an election.
A C Smith, in a comment beneath the YouTube video, wrote:
You are using the body of an innocent child, on the altar of Christ, as a prop for your political endorsement. You have a right to endorse Trump or whoever you like, but this is appalling and disgusting and in complete disregard for the dignity of human life. A human body is not a prop, and neither is the altar. As a priest, you should know better. As a celebrity priest, you’ve clearly lost your mind.