PINELLAS PARK, Florida, March 29, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – 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 LifeSiteNews.com 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.