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Gosnell Update: In the Name of All that is Decent, Let Fr Frank Pavone Bury those Babies!

By Deacon Keith Fournier
April 26th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, Fr Pavone, asked for the bodies of the babies who were killed by Kermit Gosnell. He wants to give them a proper burial. He told Fox news, "These are not just medical waste. These are human bodies - real human beings were killed. There are two reasons here: One, to properly honor these children of course who have been dishonored by what Gosnell did. Secondly, to alert the public -  and to raise the consciousness - that we are talking about real killings here."

PHILADELPHIA, PA (Catholic Online) - As a young man I was associated with the turnaround of a little College in Steubenville, Ohio. It is now known throughout the world as a jewel in the crown of faithful Catholic Higher Education. Everywhere you mention Franciscan University of Steubenville, eyes light up and hearts fill with hope. It took a courageous priest named Fr Michael Scanlan to say yes to the Lord's invitation.

I followed Fr Michael Scanlan, TOR, to that once morally, spiritually and fiscally decimated school shortly after he accepted the invitation from the Lord to become the President. He knew the serious work it would take. He knew the opposition he would face. In the spirit of his patron, Francis of Assisi, he also knew that the work participated in the continuing call to rebuild the Church.

For Catholic identity to flourish at a Catholic College the academic community must understand its ecclesial nature. In a Catholic institution, just as in Catholic persons, renewal begins from the inside and works its way throughout like leaven or yeast in a loaf. Catholic identity must become the beating heart of a Catholic College and provide the infrastructure for its entire educational mission. When it does, the building of a Catholic culture on campus becomes a fruit.

That is exactly what happened at Steubenville. A true Catholic culture developed and helped to ensure the integration of the faith in every aspect of the College. It flourished because all who are involved in the mission, from the Catholic College President to the Professor in the classroom, to the community which gathered around the work, first viewed themselves as disciples, lifelong learners, followers of the Teacher, Jesus Christ, with a mission.

The Christian life is to be lived in the heart of the Church for the sake of the world. She is the Body of Christ, and through Baptism we are members of that body. The Church is by its very nature, a teacher, and those who serve the Catholic College participate in her educational mission. It takes dynamic leadership to build such a Catholic College. Fr Michael Scanlan offered that kind of courageous leadership. His courage spilled over into many other areas during those early years.

My wife and I stayed in the area after graduation because we wanted to continue to be a part of the Steubenville miracle. I chose to go to law School in nearby Pittsburgh. Among the convictions I shared with Fr Mike was a passionate commitment to fundamental human rights movement of our age, restoring the recognition in the civil law of the Natural Law Right to Life of children in the womb. I went to Law School to be a part of ending legal abortion. Fr Michael, a lawyer himself, encouraged me by word and deed in what has now become a life mission.

During the early years of my Legal career, I left the private practice of law to serve in house with the University in several capacities. I served as General Counsel, Dean of Students, and Dean of Evangelization. During those years, Fr Mike's courageous Pro-Life acts enabled me to discover the next chapter of my life as a pro-Life, public Interest lawyer. However, when I served as a Dean I had an experience that forever changed my life. I want to share it with you my readers as a backdrop for the plea I now make. 

One weekend afternoon, I was the only Major Administrator left on campus during a student break. A Pro-Life hero of the early movement came to see me. He had two dead children in his car. They had been killed by the evil of abortion and discarded in the trash. He wanted them to have a Christian burial. Of course, the legal issues surrounding the request reared their ugly head. He wanted them buried on campus. The campus was not a cemetery. 

Some local officials were in an uproar when they heard what had occurred. They were going to oppose it for many reasons. They chose to assert the fact that the campus was not a cemetery. When I contacted Fr Michael, he did not hesitate over what we must do. He acted like a courageous priest and leader and told me to proceed.

The opponents would have to deal with obvious issues, either in the local Court or in the press. Were these children? How should we treat them? If they insisted they could only be buried in a cemetery, those regulations applied to human persons. That would only help our efforts to call attention to the truth.

They decided to back down rather than face the public debate. A brave priest stood for life and for the truth. He did not back down. Those children were given a beautiful and proper burial and a monument was built to their memory.

I vividly remember first laying eyes on those little babies. I wept, prayed, dropped to my knees and begged God to intervene in this Nation. That experience would be repeated in my life years later on several occasions in my Pro-Life legal career.

It also came back to my mind when I read about another priest friend who has also inspired me, and with whom I have co-labored for years, Fr Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life.  Fr Frank has been attending the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the abortionist who killed children after they were born in that Philadelphia House of Horrors.

Catholic Online has run multiple articles on this case - from several of our excellent contributing writers. I have written several myself since the story broke over a year ago. The trial has become a turning point for our Human Rights work for the children and the women who are victims of the movement which opposes the Right to Life. 

This gruesome testimony is exposing the evil of every procured abortion. We cannot let up for one minute in our efforts to keep it front and center.

On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, Fr Pavone, asked for the bodies of the babies who were killed by Kermit Gosnell. He wants to give them a proper burial. He told Fox news, "These are not just medical waste. These are human bodies - real human beings were killed. There are two reasons here: One, to properly honor these children of course who have been dishonored by what Gosnell did. Secondly, to alert the public -  and to raise the consciousness - that we are talking about real killings here."

He continued, "The idea that the children murdered by Kermit Gosnell are somehow undeserving of justice is a dire warning. It should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans that our nation is sliding into a  Nazi-like outlook on life unless we reverse course."

Fr Frank asked the medical examiner for the children's remains. The Doctor told this courageous priest that he  would get back to him. Fr Frank also asked the Judge if he could meet with Kermit Gosnell, if Gosnell would be willing to meet with him. So far, there has been no movement on either front.

Once again, a courageous priest, unafraid of doing what is right, has shown the courage needed in this urgent hour.

I had to bring this to the attention of our readers. I ask you to join me in making the public aware of the request. I ask you to join with me in asking the Medical Examiner; in the name of all that is decent, let Fr Pavone bury these babies!

Also, lets join together in praying for the success of Fr Frank Pavone's noble effort to bury these children. It is a corporal work of mercy to bury the dead. 

Finally, I wanted to call your attention to a documentary entitled, See No Evil - The Kermit Gosnell Murders.  It will air on the Fox News Network on May 5, 2013, at 9pm ET. Watch it. Spread the word.

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