Terri Schiavo: A Living Sermon for Good Friday
Washington, DC/New York, NY: Priests for Life today sent
the following talking points to every Catholic priest in the country for use
in Good Friday homilies today. Fr. Frank Pavone, who has been training
priests nationwide on pro-life issues since 1993, said, "I am confident that
many priests will preach about Terri today, and will call for cultural and
political change to prevent people like her from being starved to death."
1. Terri has no terminal illness and has not been in a
I visited with Terri on two occasions, most recently just
a few weeks ago. Her eyes were open the whole time, looking and focusing on
whoever was talking to her, except for when I placed my hands on her and
prayed aloud. As we began the prayer she closed her eyes. When we finished,
she opened them again. I saw her smile, I saw her return her parents' kiss,
I heard her trying to form words.
This case is not about the "right to die," because until she
was deprived of her simple feeding tube a week ago, she was not dying.
She has no terminal illness whatsoever, and has not been on any machines,
respirators, or life support.
2. Like Christ, she has been unjustly condemned to death
by civil authority.
This case is a perfect example of judicial tyranny, in
that both state and federal courts have discarded the authority of the
executive and legislative branches of government. Worse, those other
branches have reinforced the notion that the Courts alone have the last word
in these matters. They do not. Lawmakers take an oath to
uphold the Constitution, not the courts' interpretation of it. Neither the
Constitution nor our Founders give the courts the last word.
3. Court decisions preventing Terri from being fed have
Exactly ten years ago today, Pope John Paul II issued the
following words in his document "The Gospel of Life": ' Laws which
authorize and promote …euthanasia are … completely lacking in authentic
juridical validity. …A civil law authorizing … euthanasia ceases by that
very fact to be a true, morally binding civil law' (#72). The courts
have told Terri's loving parents and siblings, who want to care for her for
the rest of her life, that they cannot even give her a cup of water as she
starves to death. In fact, my friend Eva Edl, a concentration camp survivor,
tried the other day to bring Terri a cup of water and was arrested for doing
so. The Passion of Christ is being lived out in Terri, and our faithfulness
to Christ demands that we protect her and all who are vulnerable, as she is.