Saturday, April 02, 2005

A Message to the Young People He Loved

Last night, they said that they had told him that most of those outside below him gathered for prayer for him were young people. JPII loved the young, and an entire generation has grown up knowing ONLY him as our Holy Father. They said he had a message for them:

During the night, Navarro-Valls said, the Pope had said several times, "I have looked for you. Now you have come to me. And I thank you." The papal spokesman interpreted those words as a message to the young people who were gathered in a prayer vigil in St. Peter's Square.

Protocol after a Pope's death Vatican

What next?
Protocol after a Pope's death Vatican
Apr. 02

Vatican, Apr. 02 (

The death of a Pope-- like so many other activities as the Vatican-- is surrounded by
long traditions. But some of the events that will follow the final breaths of the Holy Father
were dictated by Pope John Paul II himself, in his 1996 apostolic constitution
Universi Dominici Gregis .

The camerlengo -- in this case, Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo-- has the ritual
responsibility for announcing the death of the Pontiff. The camerlengo, according
to Vatican protocol, calls the deceased Pope by his Christian name three times.
When there is no response, the prelate announces, "The Pope is truly dead." With
those words, the pontificate is officially ended.

In his last moments, the Pope is presumably attended by doctors. But the task of a
Pope's physician is officially ended at the moment of his death, and the doctor is
dismissed. This step was taken after a doctor serving Pope Pius XII, Galeazzi Lisi,
took photos of that Pontiff on his deathbed, with an oxygen mask still on his face.
Appalled, Pope John XXIII stipulated that there must be no photographs taken of the
Roman Pontiff on his deathbed-- a rule that was reaffirmed by Pope Paul VI in
Pontifici Eligendo . Recognizing the opportunities brought by new technologies,
John Paul II widened the ban to include any other forms of imagery, as well as
recordings of the Pope's last words. Formal portraits of the deceased Pope can be
taken, after appropriate preparation, only with the approval of the camerlengo,
and after the Pope is laid out in his pontifical vestments.

At his death, Pope John Paul will certainly be surrounded by his valet Angelo Gugel,
the 5 Polish nuns run have run his household, and his two Polish priest- secretaries,
Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz and Father Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki. All of these aides
will be allowed to remain in their own quarters at the Vatican until the Pope's funeral;
then they too will be dismissed.

The camerlengo will take control of the material affairs of the Holy See during the transition.
But neither the camerlengo nor the College of Cardinals has authority to make any
decisions regarding the spiritual or doctrinal affairs of the Catholic Church. The
camerlengo calls the cardinals to meet in "congregations" to coordinate the Pope's
funeral and arrangements for a new conclave.

The first order of business is to schedule the public exposition of the Pope's body,
at which the faithful can pay their final respects. In a tradition that goes back for 600 years,
Mass is celebrated for the repose of the deceased Pope's soul for 9 consecutive days:
the Novemdiales before the funeral. Universi Domini Gregis specifies that the Pope's
body should be prepared for burial between the 4th and 6th days after his death.

During this time, the camerlengo is also charged with the duty of destroying the Pope's
official seal and the fisherman's ring that he wore. The papal seal, which is imprinted
upon all formal documents during the pontificate, has always been destroyed as a
guarantee that it cannot be used illicitly by someone seeking to claim the Pope's
authority. These items are destroyed in the presence of cardinals who act as witnesses.

The body of John Paul II will be prepared for public veneration on the day after his death.
Today, a deceased Roman Pontiff is vested much more simply than in previous generations;
he will be laid out in a white cassock and surplice, chasuable, pallium, and red slippers
that may be adorned with gold brocade; on his head will be a gold-colored miter.

Thus vested, the Pope's body will be brought to the Vatican basilica, in a procession
that will form in the Clementine hall of the apostolic palace and proceed out through
the Bronze Door, through St. Peter's Square, into the basilica. The great Bronze Door,
through which guests are admitted to the apostolic palace, is then closed. It will not be
opened until a new Pope is elected. All traffic in and out of the apostolic palace goes
through other entries.

The Pope's body will be placed on the Altar of Confession, on a simple catafalque.
The faithful will be allowed to pass by in a quiet procession that is likely to continue
for many hours.

All of the flags at the Vatican, and at the offices of papal nuncios throughout the world,
will be a half-mast throughout the interregnum. Cardinals will dress in violet, as a sign
of mourning, rather than their habitual red, until the Pope's burial. Until the new Pope
is selected, all cardinals will receive the same elaborate signs of respect from the
Swiss Guard that are ordinarily reserved only for the Roman Pontiff.

© Copyright 2005 Domus Enterprises. All rights reserved.

The Holy Father Has Gone Home

Praised by Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.

May the soul of JPII rest in peace. We will miss you ,

JPII, we love you!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Crowds in Krakow Poland singing....


In a former Communist country... in his homeland... in the streets!

        We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.
        We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.
        And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

          And they'll know we are Christians
          By our love, by our love,
          Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love.

        We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand.
        We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand.
        And together we'll spread the news that God is in our land.

          And they'll know we are Christians
          By our love, by our love,
          Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love.

        We will work with each other, we will work side by side.
        We will work with each other, we will work side by side.
        And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride.

          And they'll know we are Christians
          By our love, by our love,
          Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love.

The Mass is going on, The Sun is Setting on the Vatican.....

And the Holy Father's cardiovascular system and kidneys are deteriorating.... respirations shallow... he is peaceful... and unconfirmed reports say he has slipped into unconsciousness.

They have asked for prayers for him, (Navarro-walls) .

The unconfirmed news also just said that the right Bronze door has been closed...

I will not be surprised to hear after the Mass has ended, the sun has set, that JPII has gone Home.

Such sadness these past few days for so many of us. Such joy that Terri must have no longer suffering dehydration... and perhaps, soon, what Joy for the Holy Father.


I am removing some comments due to the porn site urls that were placed in them. I am also no longer allowing anonymous posters.

To make the comments that some have made behind the anonymity has not changed the fact that Terri was living until they killed her by dehydration.

Christians are no more afraid of death than are 'anonymous people'. But NATURAL LAW says that you do NOT kill another human being, and until that human being stops breathing and heart stops beating, that human being IS ALIVE.

A baby, a toddler, a young child, a teen, a young adult, a middle aged adult, or an older adult can become brain damaged (cognitively disabled) at any time due to birth, illness, falls, car accidents, etc. NO ONE can ever know their future. But a disabled person, whether paralyzed, blinded, deaf, OR BRAIN DAMAGED has the SAME RIGHT TO NUTRITION AND WATER as you do. To let them linger on a respirator when there is NO HOPE, or dialysis, when they no longer want it, or chemotherapy when they have fought long and hard against cancer is unnecessary, but is TOTALLY DIFFERENT than taking away their food and water. Taking Food and Water away, REGARDLESS of how it gets into the person, is killing that person, is NOT merciful, and is NOT a peaceful way to die.

If you think it is merciful and is not wrong, then try it on your pets for two weeks or so, and see what happens .... if you can't do it to animals, you should NOT do it to a human being.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Vatican Statement just announced

Vatican Statement says that he has a urinary tract infection that has caused a high fever that is being treated by antibiotics and is being controlled by the Vatican medical team.
Four line statement issued.

Pray against sepsis.

(Unconfirmed) Report: Pope's Condition Worsens

Report: Pope's Condition Worsens

Thursday, March 31, 2005

VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II's (search) medical condition has worsened, the Italian news agency Apcom reported Thursday night, citing unidentified sources. The Vatican (search) had no immediate comment on the report.

Apcom said doctors had to intervene because of a "worrying lowering of (blood) pressure."

The news agency also said the pope reportedly had a high fever.

A Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was unaware of such a worsening in the pontiff's health and that at least a few hours ago, the pope's situation was "regular."

Unconfirmed News Sources Say that JPII has taken a turn for the worse

Fox News reporting unconfirmed news sources saying that the Holy Father has suddenly developed a fever and a sudden drop in blood pressure.

The source is an independent news service there that is 'usually fairly' accurate in reporting from their sources.

The Vatican has also just said that there will be a statement concerning his health forthcoming shortly.

Fox News ... Fr has just announced Terri's death

May she rest in peace.

God forgive all those in any way instrumental in her death, beginning with Michael. I will not use this time to say more.

May God in His Mercy comfort Terri's Mom, Dad, Sister and Brother and the rest of that family in this time of grief. They were NOT allowed to be at her bedside at the moment of her death.

God have Mercy on him.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Court of the Problem Terri Schiavo and Supreme precedent

March 30, 2005, 8:02 a.m.
The Court of the Problem
Terri Schiavo and Supreme precedent.

By Matthew J. Franck

As of this writing, the killing of Terri Schiavo has not been consummated, but it could be at any moment. There is no "letting her die" going on here, any more than we would be "letting" an infant die if we left him in his playpen and deprived him of food and water for 12 days. While debates have raged over whether such a death is euphoric or agonizing, humane or cruel, we should not blink at the fact that a killing is exactly what we have watched ever since Schiavo's feeding tube was removed on March 18. Much of the blame for this horror can be assigned to the Florida legislature that enacted some of the legal precepts undergirding the decisions made in the Schiavo case; to the Florida judges who used and abused those precepts; and to the federal judges who defied the instructions of the Congress to reexamine the case de novo. But little attention has been paid to the U.S. Supreme Court's contribution to the killing of Terri Schiavo -- a contribution that began the very year that she suffered the collapse that left her brain-damaged.

That year, 1990, the Court decided the case of Nancy Cruzan, whose medical circumstances were strikingly similar to those of Terri Schiavo: Injured in a car accident in 1983, she was subsequently diagnosed as being in a "persistent vegetative state" (PVS), with no hope of recovery, and she was being fed and hydrated via a gastrostomy tube inserted directly into her stomach. The contending parties in Nancy Cruzan's case were her parents, who wished her feeding tube withdrawn, and the state of Missouri, whose laws -- as interpreted by the state supreme court — required "clear and convincing evidence" of an unambiguous intent on the part of the patient in such a state before a presumption in favor of preserving life could be overcome. The state's high court held against the withdrawal of Cruzan's feeding tube, and the U.S. Supreme Court (by the barest 5-4 vote) affirmed that ruling, holding that it was consistent with due process for a state to place a heavy evidentiary burden on anyone who claimed to enunciate the desire for death on behalf of an incompetent person.

At first glance the Cruzan decision may have seemed to be a pro-life ruling. After all, the immediate effect was to keep Nancy Cruzan alive, and to endorse, in the law, a state's presumption in favor of life. The hysterical ire of four dissenting justices who wished to make death an easier choice seemed to bolster the good-news interpretation of Cruzan at the time. And the Court's opinion by Chief Justice William Rehnquist did hold that "a State may properly decline to make judgments about the 'quality' of life that a particular individual may enjoy, and simply assert an unqualified interest in the preservation of human life."

The sentence I just quoted did not end there, however, but continued as follows: "to be weighed against the constitutionally protected interests of the individual." And therein lies the twofold failure of Rehnquist's reasoning in this case.

"Principle" "Interest"

First, the chief justice identified the "preservation of human life" not as a principle but as a mere "interest," however "unqualified" with respect to "'quality' of life." And unlike principles, which a court vindicates and defends against violation, interests, as Rehnquist noted, are to be "weighed" against other interests. This is the ordinary work of legislators, but here Rehnquist embraced the trend of recent decades that it is also the work of judges when deciding constitutional cases.

What is the "constitutionally protected interest" that is to be weighed in the balance against the state's interest in life? Here is Rehnquist's second error, and the one that sets us on the road to the deathwatch in Pinellas Park, Florida. Holding, on the thinnest basis in precedent, that under the Fourteenth Amendment "a competent person has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in refusing unwanted medical treatment," the chief announced with astonishing casualness that "for purposes of this case, we assume that the United States Constitution would grant a competent person a constitutionally protected right to refuse lifesaving hydration and nutrition."

Think about this for a moment. Can anyone name a case in which a competent person, who was not already dying of an underlying disease or injury, chose to refuse food and water in order to bring about his death? It seems unlikely, since anyone who was aware, able to communicate, and not dying could hardly be expected to choose a mode of death so drawn out -- and even less could such a patient be expected to "stay the course" without relenting and begging for water and food. Indeed, a patient who was aware, able to communicate, and not dying might well find his sanity — i.e., his competence -- questioned if he made the request.

Perhaps Rehnquist had in mind those cases of the terminally ill -- those who are dying -- "turning their faces to the wall" and hastening an inevitable death by refusing food and water (nourishment that may itself be the cause of pain and suffering in the end stages of some diseases, for instance). But that was not the case he had before him. Nancy Cruzan was not dying, and could not be expected to die for years to come unless she were deprived of food and water. She did in fact die, after twelve days of starvation and dehydration, about six months after the Supreme Court's ruling, when the high standards of the Missouri courts were met in subsequent proceedings. Hugh Finn, starved and dehydrated to death in Virginia over the course of eight days in 1998, was not dying either, before his tube was pulled. And, of course, Terri Schiavo was not dying before March 18.

So the chief justice was announcing a "right" to starve oneself to death — a right of which no competent person otherwise situated like Cruzan, Finn, or Schiavo (i.e., physically and even mentally disabled but not dying) could be expected to avail himself. In light of such a patent absurdity, for whom, then, was this "right" actually conjured into being? Why, not for the competent at all, but for the incompetent, of course, so that others may act on their behalf and bring about the death that we know for a certainty they would not choose if they were competent at the time the death was to commence. Only the incompetent are fit subjects for such a death, for only they are incapable of articulating a choice and will have such a death chosen for them, and only they will go more or less quietly, having no ability to beg us for a drop or a morsel.

In short, Rehnquist's preposterously invented "right" was the Court's way of blessing a practice called "substituted judgment": the process, varying from state to state, by which parents, spouses, or other close kin establish to a court's satisfaction either that when the patient was competent, he did express a desire not to live as an otherwise healthy incompetent, or (in states a bit more lax) that if he had thought about it when he was competent, it would have been his desire not so to live. This legal practice may have made sense at first, beginning as it did with the cases of patients kept alive on respirators or other "life-support machines" who would die very rapidly of underlying causes as soon as these measures ceased, or whose suffering could be brought to an end by a simple "do not resuscitate" order in the event of a cardiac arrest. But thanks to statutes and judicial decisions, "substituted judgment" in many states in 1990 was already moving toward the withdrawal of food and water from otherwise physically healthy patients, and Rehnquist's "right to refuse lifesaving hydration and nutrition" gave this fateful step a veneer of principle putatively derived from the U.S. Constitution.

Deadly Decision

Justice Antonin Scalia concurred in the Cruzan decision, because the result was rightly to uphold the state's power to set standards for patient care and to regulate the decision to die. But he plainly stated his divergence from Rehnquist's opinion for the Court when he wrote separately to remind us that, traditionally, "American law ha[d] always accorded the State the power to prevent, by force if necessary, suicide -- including suicide by refusing to take appropriate measures necessary to preserve one's life." In the tradition the Court was unraveling that day, Scalia noted, it was fully within the power of the state to prevent suicide or assisted suicide, even by the supposedly "passive" step of refusing or withdrawing necessary sustenance, and "even when it is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that a patient no longer wishes certain measures to be taken to preserve his or her life." Of course, Scalia conceded, it is within the state's power to offer less protection than that to human life -- as Missouri did in the laws the Court upheld that day -- but he wrote to defend the power of the state to protect innocent human life completely, unfettered by any claims of constitutional "rights" or "liberty interests" to kill yourself by refusing nutrition and hydration.

Scalia was also alone on the Court that day in 1990 in calling killing by its right name. In an argument that has been replayed in macabre echoes in the Schiavo case, Scalia wrote that "[s]tarving oneself to death is no different from putting a gun to one's temple as far as the common-law definition of suicide is concerned." And if starving oneself was suicide, starving another was homicide: Scalia cited late 19th-century precedents holding that "[i]n the prosecution of a parent for the starvation death of her infant, it was no defense that the infant's death was 'caused' by no action of the parent but by the natural process of starvation, or by the infant's natural inability to provide for itself." As for those who think the critical factor is that Terri Schiavo is in a "persistent vegetative state" or that "she would never have wanted to live that way" (and here we can assume those much disputed "facts" for the sake of argument), Scalia quoted another precedent from that era holding that assisted suicide "is declared by the law to be murder irrespective of the wishes or the condition of the party" who is sent to his death. Such precedents put paid to the notion that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment carries, hidden in its recesses, some longstanding traditional "right" to dehydrate oneself to death. And they remind us that we were once a more enlightened country than we are today, at least in this respect.

Scalia disposed handily of another bit of sophistry that has been bandied about by the "let her die" crowd in the Schiavo case. Stepping outside the purview of a judge for just a moment to speak to legislators directly (a futile gesture, since the Court had just announced a "right" he rejected), he wrote that "the intelligent line does not fall between action [e.g. the gun] and inaction [the withdrawal of a feeding tube] but between those forms of inaction that consist of abstaining from 'ordinary' care and those that consist of abstaining from 'excessive' or 'heroic' measures." It is just so in Terri Schiavo's case: No respirator can be "unplugged" for a quick death caused by her body's inability to perform its basic functions. She was the recipient of no extraordinary measures beyond hydration, nutrition, and hygiene. Her death is being brought about by the failure to meet these ordinary standards of care.

As Terri Schiavo's case reveals, the effects of Cruzan have been catastrophic. No state, in the last 15 years, has been able to legislate in the traditional, fully protective pro-life fashion that Justice Scalia described, even if it wanted to. Scalia's opinion was a requiem for the unqualified protection of innocent life in American law. In place of the tradition for which he spoke has been nothing more than variations on a pro-death policy. Rehnquist's "right" to "refuse" nutrition and hydration is the cause of this trend, even though (or actually, because) it stands in practice only for the death of the infirm who cannot speak for themselves. And while legislative action was dealt a fatal blow, and public opinion was insidiously drawn into the acceptance of such a regime, the practical effect in America's hospitals and hospices has almost certainly been deaths in great numbers, under the rubric of "substituted judgment." We know Terri Schiavo's case thanks to her indefatigable, loving parents, the Schindlers, who have fought her husband Michael Schiavo over her fate. But most of us (myself included) have no idea how many Terri Schiavos are sent to eternity in just this fashion every year without anyone noticing, because no family member challenges the exercise of "substituted judgment" by their legal guardians. Who knows how many others are quietly dehydrating to death right now, with no crowds outside their hospitals?

In the years since Cruzan, the Supreme Court has revisited these issues only once, in the 1997 companion cases of Washington v. Glucksberg and Vacco v. Quill. In these cases from Washington state and New York, competent, suffering patients quite reasonably argued that the Cruzan precedent should be extended into a "right" to take more active measures to kill oneself, with the assistance of a physician who could ease and hasten one's passing. Understandably, none of the awake, aware plaintiffs in these cases wished to die as Terri Schiavo is now dying. Better to go by the needle, no? But Chief Justice Rehnquist was having none of it, though his reasoning was ludicrously weak. Speaking of the "decision to commit suicide with the assistance of another" and the "decision to refuse unwanted medical treatment," he asserted that "the two acts are widely and reasonably regarded as quite distinct." That they may be, until we come to the case where "unwanted medical treatment" is nothing more than food and water for an otherwise viable human being. In that case, the distinction collapses entirely -- or as Rehnquist more squeamishly put it, "in some cases, the line between the two may not be clear."

In the "assisted-suicide" cases, Rehnquist spoke of the state's reasonable fears that "permitting assisted suicide will start it down the path to voluntary and perhaps even involuntary euthanasia," and that admitting even a "limited right to 'physician-assisted suicide'" could lead to patterns of conduct "extremely difficult to police and contain." But isn't that just where we are now — but only with the helpless patients, not the ones who can speak for themselves? We seem in fact to have skipped entirely over the intervening step of voluntary euthanasia and gone straight to the involuntary. Why, then, cling to the drawn-out process of death by withdrawal of sustenance? Why not embrace the quicker, undeniably more humane method of lethal injection — the preferred way to go for failing household pets and death-row murderers alike?

The answer is that so far, the culture of death in America has suffered from a failure of nerve. I leave it to readers to ponder the difference between the deaths of their cats and dogs who were "put down" and the death of Terri Schiavo, and say whether this failure of nerve has been a good or a bad thing for the country's PVS patients. But there may yet be hope for the culture of life, in the lies we tell ourselves as we kill the weak among us. One of the most astounding falsehoods was told by the Virginia courts that endorsed the killing of Hugh Finn seven years ago. Desperate to deny what everyone knows, the courts of the Old Dominion held that a PVS patient

... is, as a matter of law, in the natural process of dying within the meaning of [Virginia statutes] and . . . the withholding and/or withdrawal of artificial nutrition or hydration from a person in a persistent vegetative state merely permits the natural process of dying and is not mercy killing within the meaning of [those same statutes]. ...

No one who has ever seen Terri Schiavo -- even those who believe she is PVS and beyond hope of recovery -- can honestly believe a word of such nonsense for a moment. We will not soon become the Netherlands, while such a phalanx of lies marches through our judicial reports. But as Lincoln might put it, this house divided by the splitting of unsplittable differences cannot stand. We must sooner or later "become all one thing, or all the other" -- a nation that embraces life, or one that shrugs at death.

--Matthew J. Franck is professor and chairman of political science at Radford University.

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Doctors Insert Feeding Tube Through Pope's Nose

The above headline is from the NYTimes, along with the accompanying article.

So many have compared what Terri is going through with the Holy Father.

Now, he also has a taste of what it is like to be fed 'artificially'... though that is a ridiculous term.
This is not the same kind of tube Terri had...this one is into the nose, down to the stomach and taped to nose to stay in place. When food is not being delivered, it hangs there for the world to see. When food IS being delivered, it is also there for all the world to see.

Terri's could be hidden under clothing, extending out only enough to have the longer tube attached that goes to the bag with the liquid in, hanging from an IV tube just long enough to flow in, or to be delivered at a predetermined rate by a pump...OR by gravity in a 'bolus' with a piston syringe (not using the piston part, just allowing the formula and then water to flow by gravity into the tube, into the stomach.

While the NG tube is uncomfortable, the PEG tube that Terri had is not often a source of any discomfort unless accidentally pulled on or if the site gets infected, once the area is healed after insertion.

God bless JPII, God bless Terri Schindler Schiavo.

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In Two Friars, Family Finds Spiritual Support and More

The New York Times

March 28, 2005
In Two Friars, Family Finds Spiritual Support and More

James Estrin/The New York Times
Brothers Paul O'Donnel, left, and Hilary McGee,
of Franciscan Brothers of Peace in St. Paul,
mingle with the many protesters who gather
daily in front of Woodside Hospice.

PINELLAS PARK, Fla., March 27 -
Brother Paul O'Donnell is slim and serious, though not above playing video games
on his cellphone. Brother Hilary McGee is stout and funny, with a Mickey Mouse watch
and sunglasses planted on his bushy head. In their long dark robes and Birkenstock
sandals, they have become fixtures at Terri Schiavo's hospice here, serving as
spokesmen, counselors and bodyguards for her parents.

They are from Minnesota, where they are friars of Franciscan Brothers of Peace
in St. Paul. They work with the poor, the homeless and victims of torture, to whom
they provide temporary shelter.

As close as the brothers seem with Ms. Schiavo's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler,
their lives intersected only recently.

They were attending a convention of the National Right to Life Committee last
summer in Arlington, Va., Brother Hilary said, when they heard the Schindlers' son,
Bobby, give a speech and were moved to introduce themselves. They befriended him,
and soon the Schindlers were inviting Brother Paul and Brother Hilary to visit Florida.

"We were so shocked to hear of the lack of spiritual support they had here,"
Brother Hilary, 51, said one day, sitting amid the television trucks across from
Woodside Hospice, where Ms. Schiavo has been without nutrition and hydration
for nine days. "We asked them, 'What can we do?' And we will continue to do
whatever it takes to help them."

The Schindlers, who are Roman Catholics, have long accused the Diocese of
St. Petersburg of abandoning them by declining to join the battle for their daughter's
life. They asked the diocese to step in after Ms. Schiavo's husband, Michael, first
won court permission to remove her feeding tube in 2001. But Bishop Robert Lynch
declined, saying in a statement that the church "must and will refrain from
characterizing the actions of anyone in this tragic moment."

Though the Schindlers have continued to attend Most Holy Name of Jesus Catholic
Church in Gulfport, they say they get most of their spiritual comfort from Brothers Paul
and Hilary and Msgr. Thaddeus Malanowski, a retired priest whom Mr. Schiavo has
allowed to accompany the Schindlers on visits to their daughter's hospice room.

Brothers Paul and Hilary were once allowed to enter the hospice with the Schindlers -
they had to wait outside Ms. Schiavo's room - but no longer. Instead, they mingle with
the many protesters who gather daily in front of the building, admiring their signs and
songs, urging them to remain peaceful and providing updates to the news media.

For Brother Paul, Ms. Schiavo's story has particular resonance. Brother Michael Gaworski,
who founded the Brothers of the Peace in 1982, suffered severe brain damage after
contracting bacterial pneumonia. Brother Paul cared for him for more than a decade
until his death two years ago and said the parallels compelled him to become involved.

"I looked at her on the videos, and I saw Michael," Brother Paul, 45, said of Ms. Schiavo.
"I could relate to loving someone in that condition and wanting nothing more than just to
care for him."

The protesters love to talk to the brothers. One told Brother Hilary of how she once kept
a sick man alive by feeding him with a turkey baster. Another asked him to lead a group
of picketers in the hymn "How Great Thou Art," but he politely declined. He brings some
levity now and then, as on an exceptionally humid day last week when, sweating, he
pointed to his wool robe and said, "The habit index is pretty high today."

Brother Hilary said that he and Brother Paul have flown from Minnesota to visit the
Schindlers about once a month for the last year. Donations to their order pay for their
travel and lodging. They help the couple out with errands, cooking and phone calls,
accompany them to Sunday Mass and sometimes drive them to the hospice.

"I have been a dishwasher and a sandwich maker, because they need to be reminded
that they need to eat and rest," Brother Hilary said.

Brother Hilary, originally from Brooklyn, describes himself as the talkative one - so
much that the others in his order appointed him the "begging brother."

"I go out and beg for food and money all over the Twin Cities," he said. "I have the
biggest mouth."

In addition to serving the poor, the Brothers of the Peace - who are different from
monks because they are not cloistered - pray at abortion clinics and visit prisoners.
Brother Paul, who oversees the order's ministries, said that preaching about the
sanctity of life would be a priority from now on.

"Life doesn't go back to normal after this," he said. "There is a battle going on between
the culture of life and the culture of death, and God has called on our community to
represent the culture of life."

He said the Schindlers would remain their close friends. Brother Paul said he hoped to
help them process their feelings after their daughter's death, and perhaps even to help
them forgive Mr. Schiavo some day.

"I think there is a time when they will be able to do it," he said. "In the end, they are
good, loving people."

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Denied Rehab, Food, Water, Holy Communion, and Now a Christian Burial

Terri Schiavo :
Denied Rehab, Food, Water, Holy Communion, and Now a Christian Burial

PINELLAS PARK, Florida — Adding insult to injury, Michael Schiavo has denied
Terri Schiavo and her family a Christian burial in the event of her death, planning
rather to cremate her remains, which he will then inter in his family plot in Pennsylvania.

Religious Brother Paul O'Donnell, the Schindler's spiritual director, said, "They would
like to have her body so they can have a Christian Mass and a Christian burial." He
added, "They want their daughter. If they can't have her in life, they would hope he'd
have compassion and give her in death."

"The family," however, "does not plan to press the issue any further in court," according
to Monsignor Thaddeus Malanowski, a Catholic priest who after much pressure was
allowed to give Terri last rights Easter Sunday which included a drop of consecrated
wine on her tongue.

Since Sunday Michael has refused to allow the Monsignor to administer 'viaticum'
(Holy Communion for the dying) to Terri. Pete Vere a canon lawyer told
that "this is a diabolical denial of a fundamental right of every Catholic; in fact the old
code of canon law obliged the dying under ecclesiastical precept to seek viaticum.
The new code is just as firm in its moral obligation as the first paragraph of canon 921
states "Christ's faithful who are in danger of death, from whatever cause, are to be
strengthened by Holy Communion as viaticum." Moreover the third paragraph then
specifies that it should be administered daily "while the danger of death persists. . . ."

The Schindler's said Sunday that they do not plan further court appeals. "We're all
finished with the court system. That's the end," said Terri's father Bob Schindler.

Terri, despite being in her 11th day since the removal of her feeding tube, is "still
communicating, she's still responding," according to her father. "She's emaciated,
but she's responsive," he told reporters Monday. Bob Schindler said Terri's face
still expressed her feelings when he kissed and hugged her. "Don't give up on her.
We haven't given up on her, and she hasn't given up on us." Schindler, acknowledged
Terri is dying, but refused to give up hope, emphasizing that she was "fighting like
hell to live and she's begging for help."

Terri's father added his concern that the hospice would hasten her death: "I have a
great concern that they will expedite the process to kill her with an overdose of
morphine because that's the procedure that happens."

Terri's sister, Suzanne Vitadamo, added that "Terri was wide awake and very
responsive," after a visit Monday. "She's weaker but she's still trying to talk. ... She's
fighting. She's struggling, and does this sound like somebody that wants to die?
I don't think so."

Meanwhile, Michael Schiavo said he would make autopsy results, planned to
determine the extent of Terri's brain injury, public.

(This update courtesy of

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Inside Story on Schiavo Case/ Steve Sailer

A Florida lawyer wrote about the real problem with Terri's case. It is interesting.

A short excerpt:

This fact is of crucial importance -- and it's one often not fully appreciated by the media, who like to focus on the drama of cases going to the big, powerful appeals courts: Once a trial court enters a judgment into the record, that judgment's findings become THE FACTS of the case, and can only be overturned if the fact finder (in this case, the judge) acted capriciously (i.e., reached a conclusion that had essentially no basis in fact).

There is more, including a response and an answer to it. The decision by Greer was set in stone at the first hearing after he made his ruling. I would like to hear what this Florida Lawyer has to say about the error made by Greer re: Karen Anne Quinlan's death which is essentially why he chose to take Michael's word with his 'witnesses' to Terri's desire not to live like this....over Terri's friend who said Terri was upset about Karen Anne and had said "Where there is life, there is hope'......

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'Cruel and unusual', Killing Terri Schiavo--2 parts

Thomas Sowell has three articles written about Terri

'Cruel and unusual'

Killing Terri Schiavo

Killing Terri Schiavo: Part II

and in today's, he ends with:

"A reader wrote that Terri Schiavo's biggest mistake was that she did not kill anyone. If she were a murderer, she would not be allowed to be killed the way she is. Many of those who want her to die would be demanding that she live and many of those who want her to live would be demanding that she die."

Well, I am not sure that it would be QUITE that way, as I would not want her to die... I am not a death penalty proponent at all. But you get the point, don't you?

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Schiavo's husband plans autopsy

Why am I suspicious of this?

Snip from the full article:

George Felos, the attorney for husband and guardian Michael Schiavo, said the chief medical examiner for Pinellas County, Dr. John Thogmartin, had agreed to perform an autopsy before her remains are cremated.

He said that Michael Schiavo, who has convinced courts that his wife told him years ago she would not want to be kept alive artificially under such circumstances, wants definitive proof showing the extent of her brain damage.

“We didn’t think it was appropriate to talk about an autopsy prior to Mrs. Schiavo’s death,” Felos told reporters Monday, "but because claims have been made by, I guess, opponents of carrying out her wishes that there was some motive behind the cremation of Mrs. Schiavo we felt it was necessary to make that announcement today.”

For the rest of the article, go here:

Update from Cheryl Ford, RN on Terri from yesterday

MARCH 28,2005
10:15 AM ET







Visit Terri's site:

Cheryl Ford, RN ( is not affiliated with any other group
and works as an independent volunteer promoting the protection of
Florida's disabled community.

Monday, March 28, 2005

If Terri Dies, Who is Safe?

If Terri Dies, Who is Safe?
by Phil Lawler,
Special to
Saturday, March 25, 2005

Mar. 25 ( -

The treatment of Terri Schiavo has emerged as a major watershed in the drive toward euthanasia in the US. If I were an enthusiastic proponent of "the right to die," I would not be comfortable with this test case.

There are times when it really is not clear when respirator should be disconnected-- times when it is difficult to know whether or not a beloved relative should be allowed to die in peace. This is not one of those cases.

Terri Schiavo was not close to death-- until her feeding tube was disconnected. She was not, apparently, in pain. She was not "brain dead" by any definition of that slippery term. She was not being kept alive by extraordinary means. Her death would be caused not by the suspension of medical treatment, but by starvation and dehydration.

From a non-medical perspective, it was all too clear that Michael Schiavo has incentives for seeking his wife's early death. He stood to gain a substantial financial inheritance, and freedom to marry the woman with whom he has conducted a lengthy affair. His implacable hostility toward his wife's parents showed all too clearly that he was on a personal crusade to end Terri's life. And those parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, were clear and outspoken in their insistence that Terri wanted to live.

No, this was not a good test case for the "right to die" movement. And yet the advocates of euthanasia have chosen to take a stand in this case, and thrown their full support behind Michael Schiavo. Why?

There are two answers to that question, I think. First, the "right to die" movement is seizing an unexpected opportunity. Second, the pro-life movement has been betrayed-- yet again-- by its political allies.

1) A careful political strategist, plotting a campaign for euthanasia, might have planned a series of test cases, beginning with "hard cases" (a patient who is in chronic severe pain, and terminally ill), and moving gradually forward as public acceptance increased. But with the Schiavo case, the "right to die" movement recognized the opportunity to skip over several intermediary steps, to score a major legal and political coup. If the courts would authorize the starvation of this woman, and if the public would accept it, the entire debate would shift in favor of euthanasia. If Terri Schiavo can be starved to death simply because her life has been judged burdensome, then every person who is disabled, retarded, or senile becomes a candidate for similar treatment. The key precedent will have been set; the principled opposition to "mercy killing" will be thoroughly undermined.

2) But why did the "right to die" movement perceive this enormous opportunity? Because as the Schiavo case developed, they encountered so little determined resistance. The courts sided with Michael Schiavo, and the people's elected representatives-- both in Florida and in Washington-- grudgingly acquiesced.

When they were presented with a judicial fait accompli, legislators could have begun impeachment proceedings to remove the judges who had produced these outrageous decisions. Executives could have intervened directly to save Terri Schiavo's life, claiming their authority to defend citizens from imminent danger. (As I write, there is still a flickering hope that Governor Bush will take that step.) Instead, fearful of avoiding a constitutional confrontation, both the legislative and executive branches announced that they would abide by the court's decisions.

Notice that both in Florida and in Washington, most elected officials (at least, most of those who had the courage to cast a vote) were inclined to help Terri Schiavo. But they were not willing to pay the price of intervention. A generation ago, the federal government summoned the political will to send federal troops into Mississippi, to integrate schools there, in a direct confrontation with state officials. On this occasion, our government has shown that it lacks the will to save an innocent citizen from a court-approved killing.

If Terri Schiavo dies, countless thousands of other Americans are instantly imperiled. And if that happens, it will be because the American forces of "culture of death" showed more political resolve than the pro-life movement.

The words of William Butler Yeats echo in my mind:

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

This article courtesy of Catholic World News.
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Sunday, March 27, 2005

An Email From a Friend (with permission)

Just got back from Mass .... Msgr talked about how we do not realize what a watershed moment this is in our country .,.. how barbaric we have become .... you know ... I have a lot of trouble fasting ... and when it gets rough I tend to make myself full by drinking lots of water .... I cant seem to drink water ...

I remember many years ago when I used to volunteer as A CPC counselor ...
that we had a list of all the businesses & restaurants that donated $$$ to abortion providers .... one of them was a popular restaurant chain .... I never really thought about the restaurants because I really didn't make enough money to go out to eat ...but once when asked out on a date my
date took me to one of those restaurants that was on the list of Planned Parenthood contributors .... I had all but forgotten about the restaurant being on the list until the steak came .... I looked at that steak ...
and all that I could see was dead babies . I claimed queasiness and was unable to eat .

Now I can't look at water ... even the act of washing my hands ... I think of how Terri would love to have even the hand washing water right now . ( sigh )

On Friday ( Good Friday ) I started to watch the Passion on my computer .... scene after scene reminded me of Terri .... things that I had missed the few times that I had watched before jumped out at me now .... remember the guys in the temple who were trying to speak up for Christ ??? how they were run out of there ? those who had positive testimony were not allowedto testify .... Mary running up to her son ??? The drink that
Veronica brought to Him being thrown out of his reach just as he tried to drink?

Especially chilling were the scenes with Pontius Pilate .... how
his wife implored him ... can you picture Mrs. Bush imploring her husband?

the fear he had of the unruly crowds ? trying to pawn it off on Herod ??
finally finding a way that he could wash his hands of it all ....

What is going on with Terri right now has made the Passion of Christ more real to me ... Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers ...

Is the fact that Terri is being denied Holy Communion a precursor to US being denied Holy Communion ... in times of persecution Masses were held in secret ... at what point will God say ENOUGH!! When will He pull back His protection?? We saw what happened with the tsunami ...

What is happening in our country right now is GOD screaming at us ... to wake up !!!
but then what ????


An example IMHO of 'yellow' journalism

Saw an article today that really is an example of yellow journalism, IMHO. On
the home page, third story, NOT on the opinion/editorial page is a story that
tries to compare Tom Delays' Dad's death to that of Terri Schiavo's.

This was my letter to the editor: (they may not publish it, but it is now here
for the WORLD to see.

"DeLay's Own Tragic Crossroads" by Walter F. Roche Jr. and Sam Howe Verhovek is an insult to anyone who thinks. Anyone that wants to know anything about the simple medical differences between Mr Delay and Terri Schiavo can find them very easily on today's internet.

Mr Delay was on a ventilator, Terri is not. Mr Delay's kidneys failed, Terri's have not. Mr Delay could not come off the ventilator and LIVE, nor live without dialysis. Terri is on NO machine (unless they use one instead of gravity to TIME Terri's feedings). Terri was given ONLY formula and water via the tube, and swallows her own saliva. Mr Delay's family and the medical staff were more than likely able to offer MOIST swabs to clean
and keep his mouth clean and IF he was able to be offered any liquids, would have gotten them. He was dying, and there was no hope without machines. Terri was NOT dying until her husband/court system began to starve and dehydrate her to death.

IF Terri said she did not want to live like that, she was referring to the machines Mr Delay had, and NOT to being starved/dehydrated to death, as THAT form of torturous death
was not legal when she collapsed. Nancy Cruzan's case began
in 1990... Terri collapsed in 1990.

As a nurse for nearly 35 years, I found this to be a very misleading article, and one that seems to be aimed at attack rather than honesty.

Mrs ______

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~Terri~ A Letter from Cheryl Ford, RN

March 26, 2005
11:00 PM ET

Dearest Friends of Terri,

I am very distraught this evening. I have contemplated whether to send this
information to the people who have remained steadfast and very dedicated i
n their fight to free Terri from her captors. However, after great consideration,
I feel it is only right that I share with you, Terri's supporters, the information I have
been given to me this evening by Terri's family.

As we all have come to know, Terri Schindler is a strong woman who has an
incredible will to live. Despite the daily inhumane torture that is inflicted upon her
by estranged spouse, Michael Schiavo, (the man who has allowed her to lay
in a bed with no food and water for the past eight days,) she has been fighting
very hard to remain alive. Last Friday, in spite of her not being permitted therapy
since 1993, Terri even tried to articulate the words "I Waaaaaa " in a very loud
voice, in response to Attorney Weller saying to her, "all you have to do Terri,
is tell us you want to live, and this whole thing can be over Terri."

Under normal circumstances, considering how well hydrated and nourished
Terri has been due to receiving the balanced nutritional elements in enteral
feedings, it would seem reasonable for Terri to live for another week, or so.
However, what was reported by her family tonight, has presented my worst fears.
Terri's breathing has changed and has recently become very labored. I am
assuming this is happening so quickly because of the possible initiation of
Woodside's "exit protocol." A protocol which delivers to her nebulized morphine,
a narcotic which suppresses respirations. The "exit protocol" was obviously
written to enhance her death process. Woodside claims Morphine was to be
administered to provide her with so-called "comfort" measures. Odd, however,
they would find it necessary to administer Morphine to a patient who Schiavo and
Felos have declared all along has no pain, is without any feelings, and is brain
dead. Go figure!

In simple English, it appears they are killing Terri faster than she has the ability
to fight to stay alive any longer. Terri's family are physically and emotionally
worn out. They feel disappointed and deserted by government leaders who
they once supported. They pleaded for help from them to save their daughters
life, but were repeatedly turned down by judges who chose to err on the side
of death, as opposed to life. Sadly, leaving them alone to stand by and witness
their daughter fighting against the inhumane death of starvation and dehydration.

The callous, cruel and bizarre behaviors we have also witnessed from Schiavo
in his determination to rapidly kill the wife he claims to love; leads us to assume
he may now be on a rapid mission to leave Terri's parents with the memory of
her death on Easter.

Please pray that God continues to protect Terri. Pray that He will provide Terri
with peace as she struggles to take her final breaths. Please pray that He allows
her family to feel confident that they did everything possible to save her life.
Please pray that He allows them to know how much she loves them for the valiant
fight they have made on her behalf. Please pray that if Terri is forced to take her final
breaths, it can be with her family by her bedside and not Michael Schiavo. Pray that
someday soon she will be capable of inhaling the beauty of LIFE, in a place where
no more harm will come to her.

As Terri now lays taking labored breaths, I myself, am given a sense of peace in
knowing if she dies, she will soon be free from Michael ever bringing harm to her
again. I will no longer have to worry about what he may do to her; or, how she has
had to stay locked up in a room away from her family and the beautiful sounds of
the earth we each are all able to enjoy each day. I will pray for each of you that you
find peace within yourself in knowing you have each helped Terri in your own
special way.

In the meantime, please know, for as long as Terri is alive and fighting, I will continue
to pray for a miracle and will keep on fighting for her until her final breaths are taken.
I ask that you all join me in doing the same.

Thank you so much for being an enormous strength for Terri's family. They continue
to appreciate the love and dedication you continue to show to Terri, and to each of them.

I will keep you posted.

Respectfully, and with great admiration.

Cheryl Ford RN

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The Judges Have Lost by Oswald Sobrino

The Judges Have Lost

by Oswald Sobrino


When you listen to the legal pundits defending the starvation of Theresa Marie Schiavo, what you hear again and again is a variation of one theme: the courts establish the facts, the courts have reviewed this again and again, the courts have decided otherwise.

They tell us to suspend moral judgment and to deliver our consciences and our common sense into the hands of judges and courts. The pundits tell us, in true relativistic fashion, to trust process over substance, to trust a so-called enlightened and highly educated elite over moral tradition.

That is a formula for a disastrous future for our country. Even in the military a soldier has no obligation to follow manifestly evil orders — such as an order to torture someone. Just recall the scandal over alleged torture in Iraq. But the same media that exploded over that scandal is now asking us to calm ourselves and stoically accept the starvation of an innocent person because "the courts" have handled it all for us.

Good judges and lawyers know that the authority of a court derives in the long run from maximizing the probability that all parties leave the court believing that they have at least been fairly heard. Otherwise, the fragile commodity of judicial authority evaporates quickly.

Inside the Passion of the Christ

Large numbers rightly believe that Theresa Schiavo has not been fairly treated in court. Her guardian is in a stunning conflict of interest by maintaining for years a politely termed "common law marriage" with another woman. But the courts have still let him have the final say over her life, even though her parents and siblings are eager to care for her.

Without a truly independent guardian about whom there is no reasonable doubt whatsoever, no sensible person can have any faith in the judicial process applied in this case. If some judge somewhere had simply made the amply justified common-sense decision to disqualify the spouse in this case as a guardian, we would not be here, because the parents of Theresa Schiavo would be the ones making the life or death decision.

You cannot ask people to blind themselves to reality and simply defer to the indefensible. What will be the result from this awful spectacle? My personal prediction is that many will now demand new laws to trim the power of judges given the tragedy that is unfolding before us. The judges in this matter, with some exceptions, have diminished themselves. Future laws will recognize that, as a whole, they cannot be trusted and are no longer worthy of our full confidence.

That's what happens in a morally relativistic culture. Fifty or sixty years ago it would have been unimaginable that a man living in open concubinage with another woman would be confirmed as a guardian with the power of life and death over his stricken spouse. But given the typical attitude that virtually anything goes and anything is acceptable in sexual matters, this open concubinage is granted the cultural cover of "privacy" and made irrelevant to the legal proceedings. That is the same cover of "privacy" that first justified the explosive marketing of contraceptives in the sixties and which was extended to justify abortion in the seventies.

Without a moral consensus, judges can't be trusted to make the right decisions, regardless of the procedure followed. That is why more and more laws will be passed restricting the discretion and powers of judges. Moral relativism makes for bad judges. So restrictive laws must step in to recognize that cultural reality. When a culture loses its moral bearings, trust disappears. And so does real authority for judges. We lack moral consensus about fewer and fewer things. We are in trouble.

© Copyright 2005 Catholic Exchange

Oswald Sobrino is an attorney, a former Editor-in-Chief of the Loyola (New Orleans) Law Review, and a former law clerk to a U.S. District Judge. Oswald His daily columns can be found at the Catholic Analysis website. He is a graduate lay student at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He recently published Unpopular Catholic Truths, a collection of apologetic essays, available on the Internet here.