by Steven Ertelt
October 7, 2004
Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) — In town for a speaking engagement, leading Catholic pro-life advocate Father Frank Pavone visited Terri Schiavo at the assisted living facility where she resides.
Like millions of Americans, Pavone has seen the videos taken by Terri’s family showing her interacting with her parents and doctors. However, this is the first time Pavone has been able to visit with Terri in person.
According to the Florida Catholic newspaper, Pavone prayed with Terri along with Msgr. Thaddeus Malanowski, who has been the spiritual caregiver for Terri and the Schindler family.
"It was beautiful," Father Pavone told the Florida paper. "’Many people are praying for you from around the country,’ I told her."
Pavone said Terri showed some interaction with him and those present.
"She was following everything that was going on," he said. "She talks with her eyes. She’s very much aware and alert."
Whether she is truly engaging those who visit her or is reacting involuntarily is a source of debate between her family and her estranged husband Michael, who is seeking final permission to remove the feeding tube that is helping her stay alive.
Terri’s fate is in the hands of the courts.
The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled that Terri’s Law was unconstitutional. The state legislature approved the measure to allow Florida Governor Jeb Bush to ask doctors to keep the feeding tube in place.
Pavone told the Florida Catholic that the courts may decide whether Terri lives or dies, but they can never place an arbitrary value on human life.
"All these fields have authority," he said, "what they cannot do is put a value judgment on the lives they’re caring for. The job of our whole culture is to affirm life."