Catholic Church Says Killing Terri Schiavo Would Advance Euthanasia

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 25, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Church Says Killing Terri Schiavo Would Advance Euthanasia Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 25, 2005

The Vatican ( — A leading Catholic official at the Vatican launched an appeal Thursday to save the life of Terri Schiavo, the disabled woman at the center of an international euthanasia controversy. He said starving Terri to death would be a mistake that would advance euthanasia in the United States.

Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made the statement 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," Martino said.

"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," Martino explained, "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.

"No one can be the arbiter of life except God himself," Martino concluded.

The comments come at a time when Terri’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler are appealing a court ruling overturning their request for the starvation to be stopped because it would violate Terri’s Catholic beliefs.

Bob Schindler says their Catholic beliefs and long-standing and that he and his wife sent Terri and her siblings to Catholic schools and that the Schiavo’s wedding was performed by a priest.

Father Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, told that "Catholic faith in this case requires understanding that this case is about more than Catholic faith."

"It’s about the dominion of God over our lives, our laws, our courts, our attorneys, and our judges. If Michael Schiavo is worried that some people are trying to impose God’s authority on the situation, I have news for him: It’s already imposed."

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Terri Schiavo’s family –