Skip to comments.The Vatican Steps In (Terri Schiavo Alert!)
Posted on 03/09/2005 6:51:24 AM PST by NYer
In an unusual foray into American politics and law, a highly placed Vatican cardinal issued a second statement in two weeks in defense of the life of Terri Schiavo, saying "How can anyone who claims to speak of the promotion and protection of human rightsof human liferemain silent?"
In reaction, a prominent Catholic pro-life figure said that Cardinal Renato Martinos second statement should prod the U.S. bishops to do more to try to save the life of the disabled Florida woman who faces a March 18th date to have her feeding tube removed.
Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in Rome, said in a March 7th statement distributed via Virginia-based Human Life International:
"Without the tube, which is providing life-giving hydration and nutrition, Terri Schiavo will die. But it is not that simple. She will die a horrible and cruel death. She will not simply die; she will have death inflicted upon her over a number of terrible days, even weeks. How can anyone who claims to speak of the promotion and protection of human rights--of human life--remain silent? Is this not a question of the right to life? I believe that I must speak out about this in the same way that I would speak of the protection of the unborn and just as I would concerning any injustice."
Cardinal Martino first spoke out in February, saying, "If Mr. Schiavo succeeds in legally causing the death of his wife, this not only would be tragic in itself, but it would be a grave step toward the legal approval of euthanasia in the United States."
In this March 7th statement, Cardinal Martino speaks with great passion in defense of the life of Terri Schiavo, saying even animals receive more protection under the law than Ms. Schiavo is receiving.
Terri Schiavo collapsed in 1990 at age 26 and suffered brain damage but her parents say she continues to interact with them. A Florida judge set a March 18th date to remove her feeding tube, at the request of her husband and legal guardian Michael Schiavo who has been trying to get the tube removed for seven years. Terri Schiavos parents and siblings have continued to fight for her life and to have Michael Schiavo, who is living with another woman with whom he has two children, removed as guardian. A number of legislative and legal actions are underway at the state and federal level and the eight-member Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops last week issued a statement in support of Terri Schiavos life.
The U.S. bishops have so far remained silent.
However, Terri Schiavos own bishop, Tampa-St. Petersburg Bishop Robert Lynch has garnered criticism for his approach, saying in a statement issued Feb. 28th, "At the end of the day (the judicial, legislative days) the decision to remove Terris artificial feeding tube will be that of her husband, Michael," even as the Schindlers continue to fight to remove him as guardian. Lynch called for mediation at the "end of life" when Terri Schiavos parents Bob and Mary Schindler and medical opinion is clear that Schiavo is disabled not terminal. In addition, Lynch describes the Schindlers fight for their daughters life as something within a family and describes the struggle as "the seeming intractablity of both sides."
Austin Ruse, president of the Culture of Life Foundation sent an e-mail from Rome March 8th to IgnatiusInsight.com, saying: "Of sourse, Cardinal Martino is correct and his strong statement in defense of Terri Schiavo's life stands as a rallying cry for Catholics everywhere. We look for this kind of statement from the American Bishops."
Pope John Paul II declared in March 2004 that removing a feeding tube is "euthanasia by omission" even in the case of patients judged to be in a "persistent vegetative state."
The March 7th statement by Cardinal Martino was sent via e-mail from Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro Carámbula, director of the office of Human Life International in Rome and confirmed in an e-mail from Msgr. James M. Reinert of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to Ignatius Press President Mark Brumley.
Msgr. Barreiro writes in his March 7th e-mail to Human Life International in Virginia: "In our unflagging struggle to defend the life of Terry Schiavo this an important and very encouraging document that should receive the most ample possible distribution.
Today as we celebrate the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas (1962 calendar) I am imploring the Angelical Doctor to came to our assistance and protect the life of Terri Schiavo."
Statement of Cardinal Renato Martino,
President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
7 March 2005
The courts have ruled again and again. Unfortunately, the deadline for the removal of the tube delivering food and water to Terri Schiavo is quickly approaching. I am sorry to have to use the word "deadline" but this is the most accurate way to describe what will happen. Without the tube, which is providing life-giving hydration and nutrition, Terri Schiavo will die. But it is not that simple. She will die a horrible and cruel death. She will not simply die; she will have death inflicted upon her over a number of terrible days, even weeks. How can anyone who claims to speak of the promotion and protection of human rights--of human life--remain silent? Is this not a question of the right to life? I believe that I must speak out about this in the same way that I would speak of the protection of the unborn and just as I would concerning any injustice.
Has due process in this case been truly served? Have all options been employed? Where is love? Where is human compassion? No one would ever wish to witness the suffering of another, especially a loved one. And I am sure that no one could ever choose to witness suffering or a cruel death being inflicted upon another, especially one who is loved. How then have we come to this point?
If it is true that the process has been fair, and that all legal avenues have been exhausted, how is it that this woman, who has done nothing wrong, will suffer a fate which society would never tolerate in the case of a convicted murderer, or anyone else convicted of the most horrendous crimes? Again, it is an issue of human rights. It is an issue of the right to life, and as I stated earlier, no one can be the arbiter of life except God himself!
The State of Florida has many laws on its books which protect animals, whether they be household pets, domesticated farm animals or animals destined for slaughter. (And please pardon me as I make this analogy. I am not comparing Terri to an animal. I only want to show the protection that the courts afford to animals in the State of Florida.) These laws "prohibit[s] anyone from intentionally committing an act to any animal which results in cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering" (828.12). It is also unlawful to keep an animal in a place while failing to supply "a sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water"(828.13).
Are these laws not enforced by the same courts, are these not the same laws established by lawmakers in order to protect other creatures of God?
However, in just a few days, (if her husband and the courts have their way), this is exactly what will happen to Terri. She will be completely deprived of water and food. She will have excessive suffering and pain inflicted upon her, which will lead to her cruel death. Yet we have come to the point of asking whether due process been fully carried out and all options exhausted on behalf of Terri? This is unbelievable! Is it not sufficient enough to say that there are still questions that must be answered? We plead; we make the urgent appeal for the life of a helpless human being...a person with whom we all share our God given human dignity. How can anyone say that her best interests have been taken into consideration?
In his Message for the Eleventh World Day of the Sick (11 February 2003) His Holiness Pope John Paul II stated: "And while palliative treatment in the final stage of life can be encouraged, avoiding a "treatment at all costs" mentality, it will never be permissible to resort to actions or omissions which by their nature or in the intention of the person acting are designed to bring about death."
Palliative care, by its definition is the alleviation of suffering and relieving pain. In the last stage of life, it is this care for which we all must hope because, if the feeding tube is removed and Terri is forced to die this slow, terrible, painful death, we must ask ourselves, "And who will be next?" Will this open the door for a state to decide whether this or that incapacitated person should die...not be allowed to die a dignified death but that they should have death inflicted upon them?
It must stop here and now. The courts, the judges and everyone involved with this must understand that all of the questions involved in the case of Terri Schiavo have not yet been answered. Society must realize that we can never inflict this sort of death on a human being, on any other creature, without each and every one of us and society as a whole suffering a terrible fate.
Catholic Ping - Come home for Easter and experience Gods merciful love. Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list
This is a fascinating plea from a cardinal widely regarded as liberal. I'll bet it receives next-to-no attention in the U.S. Catholic press.
not all of the Catholic Press is liberal, so it should get some coverage.
Terri prayer BTTT!!!
You may be right ... so far no coverage by either CNS or CNA.
Well, let's keep bumping it here. This is where most intelligent life comes for the news, anyway.
Frankly, I believe that Terri's best chance is to be spirited into another state that can start over with this case. Someone, an attorney, the prent's attorney perhaps, needs to arrange for a rescue operation to get her the hell out of that state and into Alabama or another state in a decent hospital that will treat her and with courts that are not stacked with Godless judges who want to rule to starve her.
Just wanted to post this - please don't flame me I'm just the messenger.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL FRIDAY MARCH 4, 2005
The REAL story of Terri Schiavo. This is a Devotional that I should have
written many months ago, I apologize. In a way, it has become a personal
test of my own commitment to the work God has called me to do and my
faithfulness to that work. I am well aware that I could easily write a
Devotional on this issue that 99% of those who read it would agree with and
stand and applaud every word. I am also well aware that if I write what the
Holy Spirit has led me to, many may be upset, primarily due to the
incredible amount of misinformation that has circulated in regard to this
tragic and emotionally charged situation. However, if I do not share with
you today what God has called me to write, then I have no business doing
what I do each day. So I will do my best to help you understand the true
facts of this tragedy, as well as the REAL story of Terri Schiavo.
While most of you have only been aware of this tragedy in the past year
since the national press picked up on it, the Terri Schiavo saga is over 15
years old. As someone who has followed it since day one due to the fact it
has unfolded in the same community Liveprayer is located, I want to give you
a timeline of what has happened in this case since the beginning. This will
be information that 99% of those who are reading this have never heard
before since you have been getting most of your information from the
multitude of organizations that found this to be a great "issue" to take on
once it became a national story, disseminating lots of false information as
facts, and of course, using it as a vehicle to raise money for their
The timeline of this story is far too extensive to put in this Devotional,
so here is a link that will take you from the birth of Terri right up to the
( http://www.miami.edu/ethics2/schiavo/timeline.htm ). Several things
need to be noted. First, the feeding tube that Terri currently has is
something she has had since the day of her tragic heart attack over 15 years
ago. Second, during the first 3 years after her heart attack, she was seen
by all of the best specialists in the world who did all they could to help
her. Sadly, not one was able to do anything for Terri and her physical
condition has never changed. Her husband and parents were actually working
together for the first three years following her heart attack. Their split
came from what else, the control of the money awarded from the malpractice
lawsuits that were filed on Terri's behalf.
Over the last 12 years that her husband and parents have been fighting over
her custody, every county, state, and federal court have all come to the
same two conclusions. First, that it was Terri's wish to never be kept
alive through artificial means, and second, that she is in a persistent
vegetative state (PVS). It has been the word of her husband Michael and
several of her friends that have led every court to rule Terri would have
never wanted to be kept alive the way she has been these past 15 years.
During these many years of litigation, Terri has been evaluated by numerous
independent, court-appointed doctors. Every single doctor, appointed by
every single court, has come to the same conclusion. It is the same
conclusion all of the specialists who treated her during those first 3 years
came to, that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) and because of
the damage done to her brain after her heart attack, there was no hope of
that ever changing.
I am very aware of the video many have seen where she "appears" to be
cognitive. Those doctors I have spoken to have told me that she has
involuntary muscle reactions that give the appearance she is cognitive, but
that is impossible since there is no brain activity. Many people were
given false hope regarding Terri's condition due to the woman in Kansas that
recently came out of a coma after 20 years. There is no similarity between
this woman and Terri since Terri is NOT in a coma. The woman in Kansas was
brain damaged, Terri is brain dead.
Over the years, her husband Michael has become a lightning rod figure. Years
ago he made the ungodly choice to start living with a woman even though he
was still legally married to Terri, and they have had 2 children together.
Whatever settlement money that existed has been long gone, so Michael gains
nothing from Terri's death. Because of his immoral choices, he has been an
easy target, but one day it is God who will judge him for his actions
regarding Terri's wishes and care.
*I would suggest that if you are really interested in all of the facts and
details of the Terri Schiavo case, you go through the 15 years of archives
at the St. Petersburg Times as well as pull up the court documents from all
of the litigation that has taken place. Especially informative are the
court transcripts of the malpractice suits back in the early '90s. The
monetary awards were actually greatly reduced from the original amounts due
to the fact they found Terri was largely responsible for the condition she
was in due to her eating disorder.
The REAL story of Terri Schiavo is about 3 issues: eating disorders, Living
Wills, and playing "salvation roulette." One of the biggest problems we
have in our nation today, especially among young women, is eating disorders.
Sadly, we deal with it daily here at Liveprayer and I have done entire
Devotionals on this bondage so many young women, and some young men, are in
today. Terri had an eating disorder. Having been overweight throughout her
teen years, Terri became a slave to "binging and purging." This is where
you eat a large meal, and then go to the bathroom and force yourself to
vomit the food up. DOING THIS CAN KILL YOU!
The famous singer of so many great songs during the '70s, Karen Carpenter,
died from this. What happens to those who binge and purge is that it throws
off the electrolytes in your body which can cause your heart to stop
beating. You have a heart attack, not caused by clogged arteries which cuts
off the blood flowing to your heart, but from what amounts to an electric
shock. This is what happened to Terri on the night of February 25th, 1990
as she had a heart attack after vomiting, and literally layed dead for over
5 minutes on her bathroom floor. Most doctors say that after 3 minutes of
no oxygen, your brain dies. This is what happened to Terri, and I pray
today that every young woman reading this who is in bondage to an eating
disorder will wake up and realize that what you are dong can KILL YOU! The
time to fight this battle and get victory over it is NOW!
The second issue is having a Living Will. Even though every court has ruled
that Terri did not wish to be keep alive artificially, and yes, a feeding
tube is artificial, this is a great lesson on why everyone should have a
Living Will. It is a legal document that covers tragedies like Terri's, and
clearly spells out your wishes. I would encourage you to contact your
lawyer and draw one up. This way, YOUR TRUE WISHES are clearly spelled out,
and you do not have to put your family through the gut wrenching choices of
what to do if something like this ever happens to you.
The last issue I want to talk about is what I call "salvation roulette." I
wish I had $1 for every person I talk to that tells me they will think about
getting saved, they aren't ready but will think about it. I also get tons
of people that tell me they know Jesus is the only way, and before they die
they will get saved. Please, listen to me right now. The Bible says that
TODAY is the day of salvation. The Bible teaches us that tomorrow is
promised to NOBODY! When you know Jesus is the only answer, and you put it
off, you are playing the most dangerous game of all, "salvation roulette."
You are hoping that you will have another chance to ask Christ into your
heart, when in fact you may not. You have no idea if God allows you to wake
up in the morning, what that day will hold. I deal daily with too many
people who felt fine when they woke up, but before the day was over they
were dead from a heart attack or some other illness. Accidents happen every
day. The reality is, you may have an accident and never have the ability to
make that choice to accept Jesus. If you know Jesus is the answer, and you
are putting off asking Him into your heart and life, you are playing games
with your eternal soul.
I don't think it is going to slap any sense into our dear Bishop Lynch.
I am very disappointed.
Curiosity: Would this be construed as an unlawful act under FL law?
I'm with you, in fact I suggested something like it on another thread. It's time to storm the gates of that hospice.
You know, for a supposed Christian, this guy sure doesn't come across as the sharpest knife in the drawer. The courts gave us abortion too, so I guess that means it is ok.
Do you have any access CAT scans or MRI's that prove Terri is "brain dead" as you claim?
If her status of brain dead is so obvious and medically clear then why doesn't Mr. Schiavo and his lawyers trot out some recent brain scans proving this?
The real story of Terri is that her life is a gift from God and that the attempt to starve her to death has brought many, many people to awareness of the inroads that the culture and worship of death has made into our society.
"Society must realize that we can never inflict this sort of death on a human being, on any other creature, without each and every one of us and society as a whole suffering a terrible fate."
Thanks for the ping, NYer!
I think I read he is an ex-con.
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