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Pontifical Academy for Life Appeals for Schiavo

While the U.S. Bishops activites in Florida are focused on reaching agreements with Taco Bell, they continue to remain silent on the case of Terri Schaivo.

The Pontifical Academy for Life, on the other hand, has chosen to speak out. As a Zenit story from today notes:


Bishop Elio Sgreccia, president of the Academy for Life, in explaining why the Holy See is speaking out in favor of Schiavo, said Saturday on Vatican Radio that her "case goes beyond the individual situation because of its exemplary character and the importance that the media have rightly attributed to it."

"Silence in this case might be interpreted as approval, with consequences that would go well beyond the specific case," he said.

Amen. At least someone in the Catholic world is finally realizing this story is popping up in ever major media outlet.

Now in all fairness to the Bishops, Cardinal Keeler did issue a statement a few days ago, but it wasn't exactly forceful:


The Holy Father added that these patients have “the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.).” He reminded us that providing water and food, even by artificial means, is “morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering.”

There are times when even such basic means may cease to be morally obligatory, because they have become useless or unduly burdensome for the patient. Deliberately to remove them in order to hasten a patient’s death, however, would be a form of euthanasia, which is gravely wrong


Now I appreciate the need to nuance Catholic teaching, but if I weren't a Catholic with a theology background and I came across this statement, I'm not sure what I would think. Terms like "cease to be morally obligatory" and "useless or unduly burdensome" don't exactly scream "Save Terri!"

Keeler concludes, ”I join with them [the Florida Bishops] in praying that those who hold power over Terri Schindler Schiavo’s fate will see that she “continues to receive nourishment, comfort and loving care.”

Again, that's great and all, but it seems a very defeatist stance to me. Prayer is important, but so is action. Now granted, the medical evidence in Schiavo's case is a bit hard to come by due to the legal blockade Michael has errected around Terri, but there is enough funny business going on to lead most reaosnable people to believe that innocent blood is about to be spilled. Surely we can do more than pray that the activist judges we are all beholden to would show mercy. Last I checked, an unjust law need not be followed.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 14, 2005 4:07 PM.

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