Friday, December 2, 2016

The Fr. Pavone Controversy - guest post

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Fr. Frank Pavone’s video on the 7th day of the Election Novena. This controversy exists on at least three levels: 1) the use of the unborn child’s body, 2) the use of the altar and 3) a priest openly supporting a political party. Honestly, I am wondering why this is such a big deal.

Dignity of the Dead and An Aborted Baby

I don’t see exploitation here. The child was already dead and was being held up as proof of the evils of abortion. Why is using an aborted baby to give witness to the atrocities of abortion undignified? This poor discarded child is dead and being prayed over and held as an example of the evils of abortion. The sight of the dead baby on the altar was difficult to see but the child was in the fetal position, a perfectly dignified position.

Many are citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

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.

However, in this case, I don’t see where Fr. Pavone treated the child’s body with disrespect or against charity. Yes, the body of a third-trimester child is naked on the altar. Yes, this child has been chemically burned in the ultimate act of disrespect of abortion. Could Fr. Pavone have clothed the child? Of course, but is it necessary? No. This child is a ‘poster-child’ of what abortion really is. It really results in these tiny humans being burned and dispelled from their supposedly ‘safe haven’ of the womb. Yes, it is shocking. Yes, it is horrible.

Sacredness of the Altar

As Catholics, we believe our altars are sacred. Many hold ancient relics from the bodies of saints. The altar is typically used for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Fr. Pavone placed this aborted child on the altar and began speaking of how that tiny human was a witness to the atrocities of abortion. I guess I just don’t understand what the big controversy is about; our Pope has even had a beach ball on the altar. Yet, here is a priest who has dedicated his life to defending the unborn making a profound symbolic statement by placing an unborn child who has been sacrificed on the same altar used for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Separation of Church and State

I think what really has people up in arms is that Fr Pavone was brave enough to call out the Democratic Party and candidate based on the issue of abortion. There are arguments based on the fallacy that the Democratic Party wants to make abortion “rare” and thus more pro-life than Republicans. It is the State who is infringing upon the Church. Christian business owners are forced to close down or bow to the LGBT movement. The Democratic Party Candidate herself said the Catholic Church would have to change its moral compass in order to continue in the United States of America. Christians are labeled backward and ignorant, simply for standing up for their Faith. How could a priest not endorse the Party or Candidate standing in defense of religious liberty and life?

Fr. Pavone wasn’t using the dead child for monetary gain nor was he acting as a paid spokesperson for the Republican Party. Fr. Pavone was making the public aware of the evil of abortion. He was speaking the truth about the Republican and Democratic parties and using the Truth from God as well as the truth from these Party Platforms to inform voters.

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Guest Contributor: Erika Vandiver

Erika is a former Forensic Biologist for the State Police with a BS in Molecular Biology. In her almost 10 years as a Forensic Biologist, she developed a respect for law enforcement and assisted in many criminal cases. She is a self-professed biology and Catholic nerd–reading anything and everything in an effort to keep abreast of new revelations. This came in handy when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer while 20 weeks pregnant. She chose to ignore the doctors’ options of abortion or delaying treatment and instead received chemotherapy while pregnant. She and her little chemo baby girl are alive and well, giving witness to their incredible story. She credits the world-wide Catholic community and the support of her family–especially her husband of 10 years–for the blessing of her daughter’s and own survival. Her miracle baby girl has an older brother as well as four saint-babies in Heaven.