VATICAN CITY, February 25, 2005 ( – The Vatican has stepped in to call on Florida Judge George W. Greer to spare the life of the cognitively disabled Florida woman Terri Schiavo. The emergency stay preventing her husband Michael Schiavo from removing her feeding tube expires at five pm Friday. Judge Greer extended the emergency stay for another 48 hours Wednesday, to consider arguments raised by the Schindler’s attorney – that Michael is unfit to be Terri’s guardian, because of evidence suggesting that he may have been abusive. Terri’s parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, have been battling for seven years to keep their daughter alive. President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino, spoke on Vatican Radio. “If Mr. Schiavo succeeds legally in causing the death of his wife, this not only would be tragic in itself, but would be a grave step toward the legal approval of euthanasia in the United States,” according to a Zenit News report. “I would like to remind everyone in this connection, about all that the Holy Father has said in past days to the Pontifical Academy for Life, confirming that the quality of life is not interpreted as economic success, beauty and physical pleasure, but consists in the supreme dignity of the creature made in the image and likeness of God,” the Cardinal added. “No one can be the arbiter of life except God himself.” Meanwhile, an online petition circulated by has garnered over 100,000 signatures. Dr. Gary Cass, Executive Director of the Center for Reclaiming America, will deliver the names at a press conference Friday at 2 p.m. at the Florida State Capitol Building. “The fact that this petition campaign, which began just yesterday, has generated online signatures at the enormous rate of 5,000 per hour, underscores how passionate people across the nation feel about this issue,” said Dr. Cass. “They want to see Terri spared from the cruel and inhumane death by starvation and dehydration that may commence tomorrow at 5 p.m.” See Friday’s related coverage: Florida Governor Urges Schiavo Abuse Investigation tv