Bobby Schindler’s Letter to Florida Bishop: When Bishops Don’t Do Their Job – Innocent People Die
By Meg Jalsevac
TAMPA, March 28, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo, has written an open letter to Bishop Robert Lynch, bishop of St. Petersburg, Florida chastising the bishop for his inaction at the time of Terri’s death and asserting that the bishop’s lack of action “brought scandal to the Universal Church and to the faithful, particularly here in Florida.”
March 31, 2007 will be the second anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo, a cognitively disabled woman who was starved to death according to the wishes of her husband and the order of a Florida court. The Schindler family, backed by countless disability groups and individuals around the world – including several direct pleas from the Vatican to spare Terri’s life - fought for years to save Terri from death at the hand of her husband.
Bishop Lynch issued one statement in 2005 during the 13 days that it took Terri to starve to death in which he called on the Schindlers to reconcile with Michael Schiavo in the name of “peace”. Michael Schiavo was married in a Catholic Church in Lynch’s diocese just a year after Terri’s death. Schiavo married the same woman with whom he had two children during the time that Terri was hospitalized.
Bobby Schindler publicized his letter to Bishop Lynch through a press release at Earned Media with a commentary which quoted from Pope Benedict’s recent address to politicians. In the March 13, 2007 address, Benedict re-emphasized the politician’s responsibility to defend all innocent human life and parallel duty to oppose abortion and euthanasia.
Schindler asked, “If the Church teaches that such a grave responsibility rests on elected officials who are here today and gone tomorrow, and who hold mere temporal power, what of the successors of the apostles – our bishops – who hold the greatest spiritual authority on earth?”
In his comments, Schindler went on to question how the bishop’s inaction corresponded to Pope Benedict’s teaching that “all Catholics have a duty to uphold the Church’s pro-life teachings, but the responsibility is especially incumbent on those in positions of power.”
In Schindler’s letter, he admitted that what motivated him to write was Bishop Lynch’s own published commentary on the ‘homeless’ in the city of St. Petersburg. Schindler quoted Lynch’s commentary which read, “I am convinced that both on Judgment Day and in history, we will most likely be judged not by the things which we might have considered personally important to ourselves in life but how we took care of others less fortunate.”
Schindler continued to quote the Bishop’s commentary, “The faces which may haunt each of us on Judgment Day may well be those of people who have approached us for assistance and were turned away.”
Schindler questioned how the bishop could look at the homeless as “less fortunate” and demand action in their name but could remain tacit in the face of the death of an innocent and totally helpless woman despite pleadings from her family for intervention. “The bottom line is, when apostolic grace and responsibility are abdicated, innocent people die.”
The letter clearly reiterated the Schindlers’ intention to continue fighting for the right to life for all innocent people – especially the helpless who are unable to fight for themselves. “As my family and I dedicate the remainder of our lives to saving other innocent lambs targeted by the Death Culture, I beg the Lord to spare us another successor of the apostles who would exhibit the same scandalous inaction and silence by which you remain complicit in my sister’s murder via euthanasia.”
“Terri’s legacy is one of life and love. Sadly, your legacy will be that of the
shepherd that stood silently by as one of his innocent disabled lambs was slowly and needlessly slaughtered by removing her food and water — while you persistently ignored the cries of her family for help (“her family” being the ones who merely wanted to care for her.)”
Schindler closed his letter by calling on the bishop to use the penitential season of Lent “to seek public forgiveness and make public reparation for public scandal.” He informed the bishop that, “At least until that happens, I regret that I must remain, as you said, the
face that haunts you as someone that did approach you for assistance and was turned away.”
Read the entire Schindler letter:
Read Previous LifeSiteNews.com Coverage:
Judge Rules Starvation of Disabled Woman Terri Schiavo to Commence March 18 at 1pm
Vatican Issues Second Appeal for Life of Disabled Florida Woman Terri Schiavo
Terri Schiavo May Die Because of Country’s “Short Attention Span”
Terri Schiavo Torture and Execution Completed - It is Finished
Church paid $100,000 to Bishop Lynch’s aide