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Father Pavone under fire for political video showing unborn child on altar

November 08, 2016

Father Frank Pavone, the controversial leader of Priests for Life, has sparked outrage by posting a Facebook video in which he placed the body of an unborn child on an altar while making a last-minute plea for voters to support Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

“A human being has been sacrificed and the altar of God has been desecrated, all for politics,” charged Ken Mechmann, the director of public policy for the New York archdiocese. He described the video as “absolutely appalling,” and said that pro-lifers should repudiate it.

In a follow-up video explaining the video, Father Pavone apologized to those whose “sensibilities were offended,” but argued that the shocking image was needed because of the urgency of defeating Hillary Clinton’s bid for the US presidency. Father Pavone explained that his organization occasionally receives the bodies of aborted children, and gives them a proper burial; in this case, he said, he had offered a funeral Mass for the child after filming the video.

Father Pavone dismissed criticism that the exploitation of an unborn child’s body was inappropriate. “I refuse to be lectured by anybody—in the Church or outside the Church—about how to respect the unborn child,” he said. He did not comment on the complaint that he had desecrated an altar.


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  • Posted by: scotty - Nov. 11, 2016 1:46 PM ET USA

    We talk about the dignity of all human life - from womb to tomb. And the dignity for the fetus on the altar - where did it go? If the message overpowered the Word of God, then it wasn't just the dignity of the unborn that was lost.

  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Nov. 09, 2016 10:51 PM ET USA

    So the director of public policy for the New York archdiocese takes offense. Does he take offense at his own deathly silence and that of post O'Connor Cardinals on the subject of the greatest evil in human history?

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Nov. 09, 2016 7:02 PM ET USA

    I wish I could say otherwise,but Fr.Pavone marches to his own tune,and takes no correction. He has been chastised in the past for unwillingness to open his financial records.

  • Posted by: loumiamo - Nov. 09, 2016 2:20 PM ET USA

    You don't use the altar for any reason other than sacrificing the mass. That's it. Abortion IS murder. Fr.Pavone & the work that he's doing IS needed, & I support him to the max. But on this matter he is dead wrong, no pun intended. Nothing belongs on the altar except whatever accoutrements are needed to confect the Body of Christ. And I'm afraid that as a priest, Fr.Pavone has no excuse for not knowing this, and he especially has no excuse for not recognizing his mistake and apologizing for it.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2016 1:42 PM ET USA

    Abortion, particularly partial Birth, is so heinous that it needs to be exposed for what it really is; cold blooded murder of an innocent unborn person.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Nov. 09, 2016 9:43 AM ET USA

    Yes, it's a shocking video, but abortion is shocking too. The difference is too many people have come to accept the killing of unborn children as a fact of life -- part of our culture. I hope Fr. Pavone's video brings people back to their senses. There is nothing pretty about killing a child. Fr. Pavone wants to stop the killing and I have to support that.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Nov. 08, 2016 9:24 PM ET USA

    It's a shocking image, of course, but that's because the reality it stands for is a thousand times more shocking yet. The vehement reaction from the NY archdiocese was to be expected; when you ignore evil for the sake of your comfort, you lash out at anyone who forces you to look at it. It stings all the more to see an aborted child on the altar because he or she, like Jesus himself, is an innocent sacrificed to the selfish desires of others.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Nov. 08, 2016 7:27 PM ET USA

    The sensibilities for soft catholics was probably hurt so they attack the messenger and miss the message. I applaud Father Pavone and the message. Too many soft catholics are voting for crooked Hillary today and forget their true Catholic upbringing on abortion. They will have to explain themselves to God.