Fr. Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, is facing criticism from some fellow anti-abortion Catholics after streaming a video on Facebook Live on Sunday in which he displayed an aborted fetus—which he said he had been given for burial—on a church altar. He accompanied the video with a note urging his followers to vote for Donald Trump.
The spectacle did not sit well with some of Pavone’s fellow Catholic leaders, including Ed Mechmann of the Archdiocese of New York, who said the display was “absolutely appalling, and deserves to be repudiated by all of us who consider ourselves to be pro-life in the fullest meaning of that word,” and Fr. Thomas Petri of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, who called Pavone’s stunt a “profane violation.” Pavone’s and Priests for Life’s Facebook pages have been flooded with comments objecting to the video.
In a rambling message posted on his Facebook page early this morning, Pavone responded to his critics by apologizing for “any unnecessary offense,” essentially blaming his critics for causing that offense: “I want to offer you a sincere apology, brothers and sisters, for any unnecessary offense, any confusion, division that’s been created, because there are those out there who are deliberately stirring up that confusion.”
He went on to declare that the “real scandal” is people voting for Hillary Clinton.
“We today, this Election Day, have to stop Hillary Clinton and the Democrats from having power in this country,” he said. “Some people say, ‘Oh, Father Frank, you’re out of your mind.’ You know what? Maybe that’s the place for normal people to be when we’re living in the middle of a holocaust and many people are ready to elect a woman who cares nothing about these babies, who wants us to pay for their destruction.”
“You know,” he continued, “for this I’m not going to apologize, for calling her out, for calling out the Democratic Party, for calling out those Democratic politicians who they never want to describe what they defend, they defend legal abortion but they’ll never describe it, and God forbid someone like me who’s simply trying to end a holocaust should show them the reality of abortion. Oh, then they get apoplectic and now I’m the bad guy. I’m the bad guy!”
“And you know what the scandal also is?” he asked. “It’s not about me. It’s about people going to the polls right now, voting for Clinton, voting for the Democrats and either being oblivious to the reality of these babies or just not caring and pretending, oh, there are so many other issues.”
“Maybe I am out of my mind, but I see our nation on the brink of a precipice today, Election Day, and I don’t want to see the wrong result,” he said. “And there’s a holocaust going on and people are covering it up and, forgive me for being a little bit crazy because I want to cry out from the rooftops, shout out from the mountains, ‘Stop killing these children and stop electing people who are going to kill these children.’ I’m sorry if I’ve given unnecessary offense.”
He concluded by urging viewers to “vote for Donald Trump because he’s the only one running for president who can put the brakes on this holocaust” and telling any of his “enemies” who were watching that they “have a lot to worry about” because “this will not rest until what you’re doing is exposed and stopped.”
Pavone has been a strong supporter of Trump since he won the Republican nomination, saying that it’s “more important that someone be right on abortion” than on “poverty, immigration, war and peace, homelessness, health care” and declaring that the potential of Trump starting a nuclear war was less dangerous than the certainty of Clinton continuing the “raging holocaust” of legal abortion.