Skip to comments.Father Frank Pavone: March 31 Is Terri's Day
Posted on 03/31/2010 5:25:34 AM PDT by wagglebee
Five years since the court-ordered murder of Terri Schindler Schiavo, I can still see the vase of flowers next to her bedside. The vase was filled with water, keeping the beautiful blooms resplendent. Terri had gone 13 days without water or food. She was literally withering before our eyes in the hours before her death. Her dying was not a peaceful and gentle process. In all my years as a priest, I had never seen anything like this. Her face showed emotions of terror combined with sadness. She died in a Florida hospice on March 31, five years ago.
Wednesday is Terris Day, a day when congregations and people of faith all over the country remember this woman whose life was cut short by the culture of death. On that day at 5pm, I will be the celebrant and homilist of the National Mass for Terri at Ave Maria University in Naples, Fla. We will pray with Terris family for all those in situations like hers.
Five years after Terris murder, the world has become an even more dangerous and cynical place.
Terri died on Easter Thursday. Liturgically, the Church considers the time from the Easter Vigil through the Sunday after Easter as one Easter Day. Terri suffered as the Church meditated on the sufferings of Christ, and she died as the Church celebrated his resurrection. Her anniversary this year takes place within Holy Week. We are assured that Terri shared in Jesus victory over death, and that should bring us comfort. But to look around us and see how strong the culture of death has become should send us all to our knees in prayer and out to the streets in action.
Terris life and terrible death have apparently become, for some, a laughing matter. Anyone who saw Fox Televisions The Family Guy was asked to find humor in Terris situation. What an ugly little bugger, went the lyrics to a song. Maybe we should just unplug her. Besides being grotesque, the vile cartoon was built on fiction, not fact, and helped to perpetuate the lie that allowed so many people to accept Terris death as a good thing.
Doctors in Family Guy introduce us to all the machines that were supposed to be keeping Terri alive. But Terri was not kept alive on machines, and I didnt see any of those machines in her room. She had a simple feeding tube inserted at mealtimes to supply nutrition and water. She was sustained by the very things that keep you and me alive: food and water. And love. Terri was surrounded by the love of her parents, Bob and Mary, and of her brother and sister, Bobby Schindler and Suzanne Vitadamo.
Terri responded to me and others around her. She smiled and laughed when her father kissed her and his mustache tickled her face. When her mother asked her a question, I heard her trying to say something. She was not able to speak words, but she returned her moms kiss.
When I told her I wanted to pray with her and give her a blessing, she closed her eyes and, at the end of the prayer, opened them again. She was not a vegetable. She was a living person who was being starved to death. This was murder.
After Terris death, Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed that people like Terri, and those who are much worse off including those who are not expected to recover are not to be deprived of food and water. But our laws governing these matters today are devoid of humanity and of the basic sense of justice that this norm embodies. Thats why each and every one of us has to accept responsibility for what happened to Terri, and work to ensure it does not happen again.
Some people thought that the problem in Terris case was that she had never explicitly written down how she would want to be treated if she became unable to speak for herself, and thus it was up to the legal system to make the determination. Proponents of the living will sprang into action to make sure everyone signed one. But not many people realize that the whole concept of the living will was initiated by the euthanasia movement.
The problem today is not that one might be given unwanted treatments, but that one might be refused wanted treatments and even basic care. It makes much more sense to sign a Will to Live, which was designed by the National Right to Life Committee and allows people to appoint a proxy who will advocate for morally appropriate care.
If Terri had had the opportunity to sign a Will to Live, she might still be smiling and laughing with her mother, brother and sister, and she would have mourned the loss of her father last year. You can find a Will to Live here.
We can protect ourselves and our loved ones with a Will to Live, but we will only be successful in extending this protection to everyone if we fight the culture of death in the political arena. Every person devoted to the cause of life must become involved: Register to vote and make sure your family and friends are registered; learn the pro-life or pro-death positions of every candidate, and spread the word. Vote in every primary and, come November, when three dozen senators and every member of the House of Representatives are up for re-election, make your feelings known in the voting booth.
The fifth anniversary of Terris death coincides with two other milestone anniversaries: Its been 10 years since the world lost one of its most powerful defenders of life, Cardinal John J. OConnor, and 15 years since Pope John Paul II published his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, which spoke of the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end and affirmed the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree.
Terris rights were not respected, which is why Priests for Life and Terris family established Terris Day two years ago. Our aim is to promote education, prayer and activism to counter discrimination against the disabled.
I urge all readers of NCRegister.com, along with churches, schools and pro-life organizations, to observe this day. Terris senseless and cruel death can transform all of us into champions of life.
Father Frank Pavone is national director of Priests for Life.
So much for "beautiful and euphoric".
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Terri’s nightmare and terror has ended for her. The maniac ghouls who tortured her have their scheduled appointment ahead. Unless they repent it ain’t gonna have a happy ending either.
I’ll never forget, and I’ll never forgive Jeb Bush for that horror.
May God bless and protect Father Pavone.
...When I told her I wanted to pray with her and give her a blessing, she closed her eyes and, at the end of the prayer, opened them again. She was not a vegetable. She was a living person who was being starved to death. This was murder...
She was killed in a horrific manner. She suffered thrist and hunger until she DIED. It was brutal murder. Not just a quick neck snap or shot of poison but LONG, hurtful, painful, terror-filled days of anguish where even ICE CHIPS were denied her to sooth her cracking lips.
Felos and Michael Schiavo lapped all of this up as they watched in good satisfaction as the hope and then the life drained from Terri. They got what they wanted. And so did Mary the head of Woodside Hospice, a promoter of killing Terri, Judge Greer, Charlie Crist and ALL who aided in the killing of this sweet and loved human being.
None of us will EVER be able to imagine what her mother and father and family suffered as she died surrounded by the absolute MONSTERS that hovered in her room.
I pray that Terri is with her beloved Father in Heaven, and also with her earthly father and knows how so many of us did everything we could to save her, including our President at the time.
For the life of me I cannot understand why neither the court nor her husband would give responsibility for Terri’s care to her parents.
Very sick stuff.
And the courts went along with the judgementof a judge who was LEGALLY BLIND and could not see the videos of Terri nor did he EVER, once visit Terri's bedside. Nor did he prevent Michael from torturing Terri while Terri was IN the nursing homes and finally the hospice. Many nurses and friends attest to the cruel rules that Michael Schiavo laid upon Terri....no open drapes, NO OUTSIDE TRIPS in wheelchair, NO COMMUNITY SOCIALIZING, NO TELEVISION and on and on and on. The days were long and horrifying for Terri.
Michael is a monster of the first order.
And my guess is he is paying for his filthy ways as I type this. As, I would bet, the rest of the cabal that killed Terri are.
Let us hope that these articles, events and the attention that they receive will change the hearts and minds of those who do not yet know or understand what wrong was done to Terri. And to our society as a whole.
Every cop who stood outside that nursing home to make sure Terri died is a murderer. Gov. Jeb Bush, because he failed to act to save Terri’s life, is a murderer.
Jeb Bush had the absolute authority under the Florida Constitution to save Terri at any point and he failed to do it. He was just like Pilate, he acted like he wanted to help, but wasn’t willing to take any personal responsibility.