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WASHINGTON D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic funeral Mass has been held for the five “extremely late-term” aborted children discovered by pro-life activists in Washington, D.C., who are thought to have been “viable” when they were killed.

On Friday March 25, pro-life activists and veteran “rescuers” Lauren Handy and Terissa Bukanovic retrieved boxes from a delivery driver, who was removing them from the notorious Washington Surgi-Clinic.

When Handy and Bukanovic told the driver what the boxes likely contained, namely human remains from the clinic run by infamous abortionist Cesare F. Santangelo, who has a history of medical malpractice, and that they would conduct funerals for the babies, the driver let them carry the boxes away. 

Upon opening the containers, the rescuers discovered “over 115 aborted children,” including five aborted children who were “extremely late term” and appeared to be “viable, premature people.” They opened the boxes in the presence of a Catholic deacon.

News of these five children was then made public when Handy was arrested, along with 7 other pro-lifers March 31, in relation to an October 2020 “traditional rescue” at the D.C. Surgi-Clinic. The FBI charged Handy and her fellow October 2020 rescuers with “conspiracy against rights” and “FACE Act offenses.” The arrest was unrelated to the March 25, 2022 retrieval of the 100+ babies.

Bukanovic told LifeSite’s John-Henry Westen in an extended interview that, prior to Handy’s arrest, on March 28, a priest came and offered a funeral Mass for unbaptized children in front of the refrigerator where Handy and Bukanovic were storing the babies.

The pair acted with “the utmost urgency,” both in organizing examinations by pathologists and in arranging for the funeral to take place. 

The priest himself, who wishes to remain anonymous, told LifeSite that “kitchen table was used as an altar and the mortal remains of the preborn children were in the refrigerator next to the altar. There were fresh flowers present and a candle was on top of the refrigerator containing the tiny bodies.”

The priest added how “there was a sense of deep mourning, and there were profound tears during Mass.” Despite the surroundings, the cleric observed that “the reverence in that room was as great as any I have experienced.”

The priest further told LifeSite that “at the Prayer of the Faithful, the babies were each prayed for by name in a most solemn way. One of the rescuers read the names each baby was given by them as a sign of their dignity as human beings, each of us known by God by Name and created in His Image and Likeness.”

Following the close of Mass, pro-lifers present “went to where the aborted babies were resting to offer prayers,” and some “laid their hands in prayer on the refrigerator door.”

In the days following this funeral, Handy and her fellow pro-lifers were taken into custody by the FBI in relation to their October 2020 rescue, which also took place at the D.C. Surgi-Clinic. A secretly convened grand jury charged the pro-lifers with “conspiracy against rights and a FACE Act offense,” which could see each of the nine pro-lifers indicted face up to 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $350,000. 

They were later released and are awaiting hearings. 

Following the initial funeral and the subsequent arrest, the priest was given the remains of “approximately 100 1st trimester” babies that had been retrieved by Handy and Bukanovic on March 25. Due to Handy’s arrest and the subsequent media attention on the five older babies, the pro-lifers were concerned that the other babies would not be treated “in a dignified manner,” or worse still, end up back in the medical waste center. 

As such, the 1st trimester babies were then buried using the Rite of Christian Burial on Friday April 1.

The priest involved told LifeSite that a public memorial Mass might happen in the near future. 

Meanwhile, another Catholic priest, Father David Nix, said that the five late-term babies were “the largest babies killed that I have ever seen pictures of. I really am not sure if it’s abortion or infanticide, which clearly explains the urgency of the left to pin this on pro-lifers who were turning in bodies who died by possible infanticide.”

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