In part due to the

Daily News

, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has set up a fund to receive donations that will be used to bury the babies allegedly butchered by abortion doc Kermit Gosnell.

The main motivation to setting up the Archdiocesan Infant Memorial Fund, according to Auxiliary Bishop John McIntyre, was the many offers that poured in following a Jan. 27 column headlined, on Page One, "The Rite Thing."

"People were very moved by the tragic situation, by your story," McIntyre said. The column said a Daily News reader had reached out to ask how she could pay for a dignified funeral for the butchered babies.

It turned out that the church already had offered to do so, and now has created a fund because other readers wanted to contribute.

Among the offers were several from undertakers who wanted to provide the funeral and a cemetery that offered a burial plot.

The church has not yet selected an undertaker or a cemetery because the funeral can't take place until Gosnell has been tried and has exhausted his appeals. Until then, the babies, and parts of infants, must be held as evidence.

"We will make every effort to identify them as individuals and bury them that way," McIntyre said. "If there are body parts, we would probably bury them in a dignified manner, in one coffin."

Donated money will be kept in the fund until the bodies are released, and the fund "would pay for a memorial and other things, such as the caskets," he said.

The plan is for a Mass to be celebrated at which the public can pay their respects.

If donations exceed the funeral costs, McIntyre said that the remainder would be used to help bury other infants whose parents were unable to afford a funeral or a burial.

Donations can be sent to the Archdiocesan Infant Memorial Fund, Room 830, 222 N. 17th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103.

- Stu Bykofsky