ROME: Repentant abortionist lays his surgical instruments at the feet of the Pope


Repentant abortionist lays his surgical instruments at the feet of the Pope

On September 20th, during a Papal Audience, a man drew close to Pope Francis, carrying with him a somewhat suspicious looking bag. Inside were half a dozen surgical instruments of various types and sizes which he, Dr Antonio Oriente from Messina, ex-abortion gynaecologist, wanted to deliver at all costs to the Holy Father.

This luggage had already created problems as he boarded the plane from Palermo. He then became the central protagonist in an event, that despite being unscheduled on the programme of the Mater Care International Conference in Rome had an enormous symbolic impact on the participants.

These were the surgical instruments which, until 1986, Dr Oriente had used to break apart tiny developing human lives before they had a chance to be born; scalpels and forceps used by him, before his conversion, before he had embraced with courage and conviction the pro-life pathway.

Dr Oriente is now vice-President of the Italian Association of Catholic Gynaecologists and Obstetricians.

For those who read Italian the story is reported in the Catholic daily newspaper ‘Avvenire’ , Thursday 26 September.

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  1. Sonshine135 says:

    How much grace will God pour out on behalf of this repentant soul? Real truth and real stories like this are the ones we Catholics should rejoice over. Isn’t this precisely what Jesus meant in the parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin? What a great testimony.

  2. SpittleFleckedNutty says:

    Let’s not obsess over this story. It’s just a small part of what it means to be Catholic.

  3. mamajen says:

    Wonderful story. No sin is too great.

  4. Cascade_Catholic says:

    I’m with you Sonshine, this made my day!

  5. mamajen says:

    “Let’s not obsess over this story. It’s just a small part of what it means to be Catholic.”

    While you’re at it, you could stop obsessing about the Pope’s remarks.

  6. wanda says:

    Thanks be to God for the change in this man’s heart and soul. Heaven rejoices at even one repentant sinner.

  7. This story made my day. What heroism!

  8. Suburbanbanshee says:

    There’s an important lesson here for people who have repented their sins and feel great sorrow and contrition for them, but also great shame for seeming to have no worthy gift to give God.

    Every time we repent, honestly trying to make this the last time we sin, we are giving God a gift like this man gave to the Pope. If we manage to conquer a sin with God’s grace, God takes that sin as a kind of spoils of victory. And someday in Heaven, perhaps those spoils of victory will decorate the walls of the many mansions He has prepared for us.

  9. SpittleFleckedNutty says:

    mamajen says:
    “Let’s not obsess over this story. It’s just a small part of what it means to be Catholic.”

    While you’re at it, you could stop obsessing about the Pope’s remarks.

    If he would stop talking for 5 minutes, I might have that opportunity.

  10. Stumbler but trying says:

    I read this story last night and was happy. Happy for the graces our Lord gave to the doctor to return to embracing life, happy, that he had the courage to do so. Happy that he gave witness to the beauty of life and the horror of abortion. May his witness bear much fruit.

    Laying his his surgical instruments at the feet of the Pope? I had an image of his laying them at the foot of the Cross after first reading the headline. Amen!

  11. Katylamb says:

    This is a beautiful story- it brought tears to my eyes.
    Spittleflecked: Why should he stop talking? If you don’t like what he has to say then you know what to do- quit reading what he says. Many people do want to hear what he has to say. I am one of them. Although I’m far from understanding what he’s getting at all the time, I can usually take something good away from it. When I take his words personally and ponder them, I learn. I had almost lost my faith when he became pope (nothing to do with dear Pope Benedict, just an awful dry period) and now it’s all good again. Pope Francis reminded me of what it’s all about. He is good and I love him.

  12. This sort of thing is always good news; I am always glad to read of sinners who repent and clean up their lives.

    And for those who fear that Pope Francis is heading in the wrong direction, note that he did not return the instruments to the doctor and say, “It’s all okay– no harm done– nothing wrong with abortion.”

  13. Denis says:

    Aren’t conversions, like, a bad thing? Shouldn’t he just have lived his own version of the good–I.e. that of an abortionist? Ah, but i see now that the conversion took place in 1986; those were the bad old days, when the Church still obsessed about stuff like abortion and objective truth.

    Perhaps F1 is really a Zen Master, guiding his flock with paradox and absurdity.

  14. Conversion of an abortionist… praise God.

    Giving the Holy Father 27 year old instruments of death?! Gross. “wanted to deliver at all costs to the Holy Father” Why? Why did the man want to pass along instruments he kept for 27 years to our pope?

    Why were the stored (kept?) for 27 years?

    I fully accept a label of “Sir of Sour Grapes” but I honestly do not understand. (I do not mean figuratively-“honestly”… I really am looking for someone to explain this to me such that I can be assisted with an attempt at Charity.)

  15. BLB Oregon says:

    I can easily imagine that the doctor kept the instruments because if he got rid of them they might be used again or because he didn’t feel that what he had done was something that could be so easily disavowed as putting his instruments-turned-weapons in a trash can or because he simply didn’t know what he ought to do with the tangible evidence of the shameful outrages he had committed. He may have easily spent many years asking himself, “What do I do with these?” The Prodigal, after all, did not come back expecting to be received as a son. How much less would an abortionist expect a fine garment or a fatted calf to await him. Had he asked me, I’m not at all sure what I would have told him, save that he ought not sell them. It would be something he’d need to work out.

    I remember a doctor who works in an emergency department say that he had a patient come to him at something like two in the morning, complaining of shoulder pain. In the course of his routine gathering of history, he asked patient how long this shoulder had been bothering him. The answer? I kid you not, it was 27 years!! He asked the patient what had brought him into the hospital this particular night. “I just couldn’t take it anymore, Doc.” Sometimes, things don’t come along as fast as one might think.

    As for this comment: “If he would stop talking for 5 minutes, I might have that opportunity.”

    I am not concerned in the least that our Holy Father only talks, and does not give any time over to listening. In a letter explaining why he stays at Santa Marta, he said, ““I’m visible to people and I lead a normal life – a public Mass in the morning, I eat in the refectory with everyone else, et cetera. All this is good for me and prevents me from being isolated….I’m trying to stay the same and to act as I did in Buenos Aires because if you change at my age you just look ridiculous.” He also listens before the Blessed Sacrament. I trust him to have listened before he speaks, and the more he speaks, the more I feel that way.

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