PINELLAS PARK, FL, March 31, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The website set up by Terri Schiavo’s parents which for years catalogued their efforts to save her life had a simple message today reading: “Terri’s struggle for life has ended this morning. December 3, 1963 – March 31, 2005”
In a final affront, Michael Schiavo denied Terri the presence of her family during her final moments. Although they were allowed to be present until shortly before her death, Michael denied Terri her parent’s comfort in her final moments and death.
“It is with great sadness that I report that Terri Schiavo has passed away,” said Brother Paul O’Donnell, the Schindler’s spiritual advisor, emerging early Thursday from the Florida Hospice where Terri spent her final years, according to a USA Today report.
Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said, “This is not only a death, with all the sadness that brings, but this is a killing, and for that we not only grieve that Terri has passed but we grieve that our nation has allowed such an atrocity as this and we pray that it will never happen again.”
“Today, millions of Americans are saddened by the death of Terri Schiavo. Laura and I extend our condolences to Terri Schiavo’s family,” US President George W. Bush said Thursday from Washington. “I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to continue to work to build a culture of life where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others.”
Other notable politicians joined the President in offering their condolences and in rebuking the judicial system that mandated her death. “May God bless her memory,” said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. House Majority Leader, Texan Tom DeLay described Schiavo’s death as a “moral poverty and a legal tragedy.”
“This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change,” he promised. “The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another.”
Vatican Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins condemned Terri’s murder shortly after her death. Cardinal Martins, prefect for the congregation for the causes of saints, said, “An attack against life is an attack against God, who is the author of life.” Earlier in the day, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino, told Vatican Radio, “The dutiful and unavoidable respect for a human being should impose that … what would practically and without euphemism be murder – to which it is impossible to stand by inert without becoming an accomplice – be avoided.”
Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, said, “Hopefully Terri’s death will result in legislation being enacted to protect people who are cognitively disabled from similar acts of death by dehydration.”
“Terri was a citizen of the United States, but we are aware in Canada that this situation could just as easily have occurred here. When courts decide that innocent people will be deprived of the necessities of life, such as food and water, we are in a society which is out of control,” said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition. “I thank God that I had the opportunity to stand outside the Woodside Hospice in Florida last week and joined the others in prayers for Terri and her family.”
“Campaign Life Coalition will continue to pray for Terri and her parents and also for both the United States and Canada,” Hughes added. “We must take both our countries back from the courts.”