The Facebook live video has been viewed more than 300,000 times
A Catholic priest in Philadelphia is calling on Americans to vote for Donald Trump in the election today because of his pro-life stance.
Rev. Frank Pavone took an aborted fetus, laid it upon an altar Sunday and posted a live video on Facebook. Pavone, a Catholic priest who heads New York-based Priests for Life, said the fetus was entrusted to him by a pathologist for burial.
(Warning: the content of the video is graphic and viewers may find it distressing).
In Pavone’s Facebook appeal, he 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.”
At the time of writing, the video has been viewed more than 330,000 times.
In a blog post for Patheos, Scott Eric Alt argued that what Pavone did was sacrilege, a violation of Catholic Church canon law, which states that the altar is “reserved for divine worship alone, to the exclusion of any secular usage.”
“Being pro-life is about respecting the dignity of the human person,” Alt wrote. “It is the antithesis of respect for the dignity of the human person to use a dead child as a political prop to lobby for your presidential candidate the day before an election.”
Trump has previously expressed a desire to ban abortions in the US outrightly. Clinton maintains a pro-choice stance.
Pavone is a high-profile antiabortion activist who has clashed with leadership within the Catholic Church. In 2014, Cardinal Timothy Dolan cut ties with the priest after Dolan suggested that Pavone had stonewalled financial reform within his organization, which is based out of Staten Island.