Mar 31, 2009

+ Remember Terri Schiavo +

Catholic housewife Terri (Schindler) Schiavo (above, with her Mom) died four years ago today, March 31, 2005, from being put to death -- being dehydrated and starved for 13 days.

A judge ordered that prolonged and monstrously cruel form of capital punishment against Terri, and police (a guard in her room and snipers on the roof) enforced it.

There was water in her room for a plant, but none at all for Terri's parched lips and mouth.

Terri's crime was being disabled and having a husband who wanted her gone.

As you can see from the photo above, Terri was NOT "dying," NOT "in a coma," and NOT "a vegetable."

Before and during Terri's prolonged execution, many Catholic cardinals and bishops pleaded for her life and called her execution deliberate murder.

But after Terri's execution was complete, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles issued an unfortunately confusing statement. He did say that Terri "has caused all of us to focus more deeply upon the value of each human life from conception through natural death."

And he said, "Our Catholic moral tradition always calls us to give the benefit of the doubt to life, not to death."

But then the Cardinal added, "At the same time, legitimate Catholic medical ethical guidelines exist to help us as we face these very important questions."

He also said, "It seems to me that the dignity and graces of a natural death have been violated through this endless process, and that what should be a time of quiet and peaceful prayer with a loved one has somehow become the platform for many groups with various agendas."

The Cardinal also talked about "end-of-life decisions."

And Cardinal Mahony said we "need to engage more fully the moral and technical dimensions of prolonging human life as well as allowing a person to die peacefully according to God's design."

What "natural death" was Cardinal Mahony talking about? Terri was NOT dying. And by saying "endless process" and "platform for many groups with various agendas," was the Cardinal criticizing the valiant pro-life legal battle to save Terri's life?

What "time" was Cardinal Mahony talking about when he said, "what should be a time of quiet and peaceful prayer with a loved one?" Remember, Terri was NOT dying.

Why did Cardinal Mahony speak of "end-of-life decisions?" Terri was IN NO WAY anywhere near the end of her life -- not until the judicial execution of her began.

By saying "prolonging human life" in a statement about Terri, was Cardinal Mahony leaving himself open to the interpretation that he was criticizing the giving of food and water to her?

By saying "allowing a person to die peacefully according to God's design" was the Cardinal saying that is what should have been done to Terri? Again, she was NOT dying; and Catholic teaching is that water and food are our RIGHTS and are NOT "medical care" or "extraordinary means."

It is inescapably the fact that the phrases "prolonging human life" and "allowing a person to die" are used by the anti-life propagandists and pressure groups. All pro-life Catholics of every rank need to be careful to avoid such terms.

A straightforward statement in defense of Terri before she was tortured and slain was what she needed. And it would have been much preferable to a confusing one issued after her execution.

Why bring this up now? So we remember Terri.

But also, what Catholic leaders say is extremely relevant right now to countless incapacitated, disabled, infirm, ill and aged Angelenos, Californians and all Americans. They are in danger of being put to death or denied life-saving treatment.

All the more so if Barack Hussein Obama's socialized medicine takes effect. Rationing and "futile care" and cost-effectiveness, not reverence for your life and mine, will be the deciding criteria.

In this vein, it was very good of Cardinal Mahony, two years ago, to come out strongly against a California "assisted suicide" bill (that ultimately failed) and to blast then-Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez for supporting it. The Cardinal quoted Pope John Paul II's encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) to good effect.

You can read about Cardinal Mahony's strong pro-life message at:

Be sure to visit Terri's family's anti-euthanasia site:

Let our byword always be, Remember Terri Schiavo! God rest her soul. Amen.


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