A Catholic priest belonging to the Amarillo diocese put a video of an aborted fetus that was placed on his church altar on Sunday on Facebook.
The Rev. Frank Pavone, a Catholic priest who heads New York-based Priests for Life, said the fetus was entrusted to him by a pathologist for burial, according to the Washington Post.
As of Tuesday the video had tallied more than 400,000 views.
Pavone’s Facebook post seemed to lean heavily toward favoring the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump.
“I am showing him to you because in this election we have to decide if we will allow this child killing to continue in America or not,” Pavone’s post said. “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.”
On Tuesday, the Amarillo diocese posted a statement saying that it is opening an investigation on Pavone’s actions saying they were “against the dignity of human life and is a desecration of the altar.”
“The Diocese of Amarillo deeply regrets the offense and outrage caused by the video for the faithful and the community at large,” the statement reads. “The action and presentation of Father Pavone in this video is not consistent with the beliefs of the Catholic Church.”
The diocese noted that Priests for Life is a civil institution, not a Catholic one and the organization is not under the diocese’s supervision, the Washington Post reported.
Pavone is a high-profile antiabortion activist who has clashed with leadership within the Catholic Church, the Washington Post reported.
Pavone said said his efforts were part of a nine-day effort to get voters to vote for pro-life Republicans, according to the newspaper.
“In the chapel were only me and the baby, whose funeral has already been held and who has been laid to rest,” he said. “No family were present, because they rejected the child and had him killed. His body would have been thrown in the garbage had we not accepted it.”