‘Terri Schiavo Priest’ will pay to bring Baby Joseph to U.S.

ROME — Father Frank Pavone, who became known as the “Terri Schiavo Priest” for his role in trying to save the life of a Florida woman in 2005, has joined the fight to save a Canadian baby from a cruel death.

“If I have to fly from Rome to Canada to get Baby Joseph out of the hospital and back home where he belongs, I am ready to do that right now,” said Father Pavone, who has been attending meetings at the Vatican this week.

Father Pavone said Priests for Life will pay all expenses to bring Baby Joseph and his family to a hospital in the United States that would agree to perform the tracheotomy that would make it possible for him to go home.

“The parents of this precious boy are asking only to be allowed to bring Baby Joseph home, where he can die surrounded by those who love him,” said Father Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. “It’s beyond imagination that they would have to ask. This is not an issue that belongs in the court, or in the hands of his doctors. This is their son; he needs to be home with his family.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital in London, Ontario, who have been treating the boy for a fatal degenerative disorder want to remove the breathing tube that is keeping 13-month-old Joseph Maraaachli alive. His parents, Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader, are fully aware that their son will not recover, but they want doctors to fit Joseph with a tracheotomy so they can bring him home as they did eight years ago with their baby daughter Zina, who had a similar condition and died six months after they brought her home. Instead of doing the tracheotomy, the doctors asked Ontario’s Consent and Capacity board for permission to remove the breathing tube. A judge last week agreed with the doctors’ position.

“This couple lost a child to this same disease eight years ago so they know exactly what they are dealing with, and what to expect as Baby Joseph reaches the end of his life. The small comfort they could take from Zina’s death was to know she died in peace surrounded by those whose lives she had touched in her own short life. They want the same for Baby Joseph.”

Father Pavone was with Terri Schiavo’s parents, brother and sister in her hospital room in the hours before the Florida woman died in 2005, two weeks after a court declared she could be denied food and water to bring on her death. Like the Maraachli family, the Schindlers wanted to bring Terri home.

“This same barbaric act is what the Canadian court is asking Baby Joseph’s family to endure,” Father Pavone said. “It is cruel, it is criminal and it cannot be allowed to happen again.”

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