Catholic Priest: Terri Schiavo Responsive Til Death, Prayed With Family

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 31, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Priest: Terri Schiavo Responsive Til Death, Prayed With Family Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 31
, 2005

Pinellas Park, FL ( — A leading Catholic priest who visited Terri Schiavo on two separate occasions in the hours before her death says Terri was in a weakened medical condition from 13 days of starvation but was responsive until her death. The disabled woman even prayed with her family.

"Last night, I spent about two hours with her until past midnight, together with Bobby Schindler and Suzanne, and then again this morning for about an hour and a half, and then right up until about ten minutes before she died," Father Frank Pavone said.

Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, said most of the time was spent in prayer with and for Terri and telling her that people across the country supported her.

When he prayed, Pavone said "She was very responsive — closing her eyes when I said, ‘Let’s pray together, Terri,’ opening them up after the prayer."

Pavone made the remarks in an interview with Renew America, a grassroots organization headed by former presidential candidate Alan Keyes.

He indicated Terri was smiling and "returning the kiss of her father" as well as "turning her eyes to me when I spoke to her."

"In many other ways, as well, responsive," Pavone added.

"Even today, although, of course, with the effects of the dehydration, her response was much less," Pavone told Renew America. "Nevertheless, her eyes were open, her eyes were moving, and as I prayed with her."

Pavone talked about how Terri Schiavo’s plight and the national debate surrounding her life and death will continue as the nation grapples with end of life issues.

"Terri didn’t die today from anything except the fact that her food and water were withheld for the last two weeks," he said. "She had no other underlying illness whatsoever. This is a case of throwing away a disabled person

"And we have to ask ourselves, has our nation now begun to go down the road of killing those who are disabled, simply because somebody says that they want to be killed," Pavone concluded.

Related news stories:

CBS News Posts Prewritten Story Saying Terri Schiavo Died

Terri Schiavo’s Parents’ Last Motion on Terri Saying "I Want to Live"

Terri Schiavo Case Reveals How We Treated Disabled Americans

Related web sites:
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