Bishops urged to take action
Bishops urged to take action, uphold Church teaching in Terri Schiavo case
Washington DC, Feb. 24, 2005 (CNA) - The American Life League is urging Catholics bishops to take up the fight to save Terri Schiavo’s life. The Florida woman, who has been severely physically and mentally disabled for the last 13 years, is being kept alive by tube feedings.
While she remains in hospital and is unable to speak, she has repeatedly responded to stimuli, such as music and her mother’s voice.
However, her husband, Michael Schiavo, has been fighting Terri’s family in court for the right to remove the feeding tubes and effectively have her starve to death. The courts recently ruled in his favor.
“We implore Catholic bishops — and in particular, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg — to take up Terri's fight in both prayer and action and to uphold Church teaching regarding the dignity of human life,” said Joe Starrs, director of American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church.
Citing the Pope’s statements in March 2004, Starrs said: "The Holy Father has made it quite clear that it is our moral obligation to provide food and water to human beings. There is no excuse for the timidity that many in the Catholic hierarchy are displaying in this life-and-death situation."
While a number of U.S. bishops have spoken out strongly in Terri's defense, the response by the Florida Catholic Conference has been minimal.
"The lack of clear, decisive action by Bishop Lynch and far too many of his brother bishops across Florida and across the nation has been more than disappointing," Starrs said in a press release.
"It is shameful that any bishop could find it acceptable to sit by virtually silent while one of the flock is brutally and publicly murdered," said Starrs. "Terri is a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We must not permit a slow, painful death to be imposed on her."