Prayer Vigil to Be Held for Victims of Convicted Pennsylvania Abortion Doctor. Priests for Life Director Calls on Medical Examiner To Release Bodies for Proper Burial
Philadelphia, (Zenit.org) Junno Arocho Esteves. Fr. Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life announced a Prayer Vigil for the countless victims of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a recently convicted abortion doctor.
Gosnell’s 237 convictions were three counts of first-degree murder of infants born alive during attempted late-term abortions, one count of infanticide, and the involuntary manslaughter of a patient who died from complications of anesthesia administered by an unlicensed nurse at his abortion clinic.
He was also found guilty of conspiracy, performing abortions beyond the legal limit in Pennsylvania, and 208 violations of the state’s informed consent law. On May 14, Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison.
Fr. Pavone stated that although the government raid of Gosnell’s abortion clinic discovered the remains of 45 babies in jars, milk cartons and other containers, their bodies have not yet been released for burial despite offers from the Priests For Life to “conduct proper funeral services and burials.”
“The babies are currently still in the possession of the Philadelphia Medical Examiner,” Fr. Pavone stated. “As a reminder of their humanity, and as a sign of our solidarity with them, Priests for Life is holding a prayer service on Friday, July 19, from 10 to 11 a.m. in front of the building where they are being kept, at 321 University Ave., Philadelphia. If the Medical Examiner will not bring these babies to us, then we will go to them. “
Several other outreach campaigns will take part in the vigil including the Silence No More Awareness Campaign, Rachel’s Vineyard and the Christian Defense Coalition. The prayer vigil, Fr. Pavone said, would give an opportunity to pray for the souls of the babies killed, their families, and even those who killed them “to the love and mercy of Almighty God, in whose hands are the lives of us all.”
“We seek to continue to shed light on the fact that these children are our brothers and sisters, and that their bodies are sacred and must be reverenced,” Fr. Pavone stated. “We have already given them names, and we will hold a major national funeral service at some point in the near future.
“We seek, likewise,” he continued, “to shed light on the violence of abortion, which killed these children. The killing of a child is equally wrong whether it is carried out inside the womb or outside the womb. It is the violence itself that must end; the place where it occurs is secondary.”
Concluding his statement, the national director of Priests for Life said that the vigil will also give an invitation to healing for those who are or have been involved in abortion.
“We who reject abortion do not reject those who have had abortions; rather, we embrace them with compassion and love,” he said. “Nor do we reject those who work or have worked in the abortion industry. They, too, need healing and compassion, which we provide through our work with the Society of Centurions, a program of healing and outreach for former abortionists and clinic staff.”