National Steven Ertelt
www.lifenews.com Jun 10, 2015 | 12:40PM Philadelphia, PA
The Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s office denied a request from a leading pro-life Catholic priest to give up, for proper burial, the remains of the babies that abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell killed in brutal infanticides. Subsequently, the ME office secretly cremated the babies. Following the cremation, the medical examiner’s office buried the cremated remains at Laurel Hill Cemetery at 3822 Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia.
Today, pro-life advocates gathered at that burial place to remember those babies Kermit Gosnell killed in the ghastly abortions he performed.
Participants gathered at the Visitors Center for a press conference and then made a short walk to the burial site for a prayer service.
The Pro-Life Coalition of Philadelphia told LifeNews that it was disappointed when it learned that the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office “secretly cremated and buried the remains of the 47 babies taken from the facility of convicted late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell.”
“The ME initially held the bodies for Gosnell’s trial, which ended in May 2013. However, the ME declined requests from local and national pro-life organizations and Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput to release the bodies of these babies for burial. The ME also declined to provide any public information on their plans to dispose of these bodies,” the group said.
Mike McMonagle, the President of the Philadelphia Pro-Life Coalition, said: “We are grateful that the Medical Examiner has finally buried the remains of these babies. Nevertheless, the burial should not have occurred without public notice. We plan to remind all of our fellow citizens of the humanity of these children by this event, as well as to place a temporary marker.”
Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, helped spearhead the prayer service today.
“Although we are thankful that these 47 children no longer remain in the Philadelphia morgue, it is very troubling that they were buried in secret. It is our intention to ensure they are honored as members of the human family,” he said.
Mahoney said he’s hoping for a larger prayer service in the future, perhaps with Pope Francis participating.
“On September 25, 2015, we are inviting the pro-life community and all people of good will from across the nation to participate in one of the largest Memorial Services that the City of Philadelphia has ever seen during the World Meeting of Families. We will also be inviting Pope Francis to attend and participate in this service,” he said.
When the medical examiner’s office first made the decision to cremate the babies, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, was upset.
He told LifeNews at the time: “There is no need for the Medical Examiner to have some hidden, secret burial as if we are to be ashamed of these babies. These babies are not unclaimed. They are claimed and have been named by us, because they are our brothers and sisters. We will therefore have a national funeral service for these babies, even without the bodies. We will involve the entire pro-life movement and all people of good will, and more information will be announced shortly. Moreover, we want to know exactly where the remains of these children will be placed.”