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.