11/09/2016, 13.56
INDIA – UNITED STATES
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Aborted foetus is placed on altar in support of Trump. For Indian doctor, it is a violation of life

by Nirmala Carvalho

The stunt is the work of Fr Frank Pavone, head of ‘Priests for Life’, in New York. Before the US election, he posted a video to warn voters against Hillary Clinton. This is a “double injustice” to the unborn child. For theologian, " Respect for all life extends to the body of deceased persons."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Just before the presidential elections in the United States, a New York Catholic priest placed an aborted foetus on an altar and asked voters to cast their ballot for Donald Trump. Fr Frank Pavone, head of ‘Priests for Life’, videotaped naked body of the foetus and then posted it on Facebook.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Dr Pascoal Carvalho, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said: "I am deeply saddened by this gross show of disrespect towards this unborn child.

“The little baby suffered a double injustice,” he explained. “First, his precious life was snuffed out in the initial phase of his or her existence. Secondly, the unborn was reduced to an object and this is a gross violation of the unborn child’s rights, [as he or she] was used as an exhibit and denied the sanctity and dignity of a human being.”

The shocking video was posted two days before the US elections. In his Facebook appeal, Fr Pavone wrote, “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.”

In the last TV debate between the two candidates for the White House, Clinton surprisingly did not come out against partial birth abortion, i.e. late abortion up to the ninth month. Instead, she said that no one should step in and make “those most personal of decisions for women”.

For Dr Carvalho, “The unborn has an unequivocal right to a full human life. [. . .] The little defenceless and vulnerable baby (he refuses the term foetus) was a human being at the very beginning of life.  The position of the Church is clear. Human life begins from the very moment of conception. This means that from the moment of conception and along the path of embryonic and foetal development.“

“This precious baby already has the full genetic code of a human being,” Dr Carvalho added, and “is already human in view of this uniqueness”.

In 1987, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued Donum Vitae”, which says that “The corpses of human embryos and foetuses, whether they have been deliberately aborted or not, must be respected just as the remains of other human beings.”

A Catholic theologian who teaches moral theology at an Indian seminary said Fr Pavone’s action left him “speechless”. In his view, this goes “against everything the pro-life movement to which I belong holds dear”.

In the first place, "Respect for all life extends to the body of deceased persons. There is no excuse to do something that is disrespectful to the person (exhibiting a dead foetus on its way to burial) to argue for greater respect for others (unborn babies). The end never justifies the means."

The theologian believes that we "need a consistent ethic of life" and "Using fear and hatred is the last thing we need to make people see the value of life. [. . .] if we want others to believe in the gospel of life we need to show life in Christ and all life.”

Speaking about the vote, he noted that "Respect for the individual conscience is supreme in voting matters. I don't think anyone should be forced either way. [. . .] this means that even if the one I support does not win I will respect the decision of the majority. [. . .] No matter who my president or prime minister is God is still God.”

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