by Steven Ertelt
April 18, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A Catholic priest who prayed with Terri Schiavo and the Schindler family shortly before her death criticized Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean for saying his party will use the battle over Terri against Republicans in upcoming elections.
"We’re going to use Terri Schiavo later on," Dean told those at a weekend political dinner in Hollywood.
"This is going to be an issue in 2006, and it’s going to be an issue in 2008," Dean said. "Because we’re going to have an ad with a picture of Tom DeLay saying, ‘Do you want this guy to decide whether you die or not? Or is that going to be up to your loved ones?"
According to an Associated Press account of the dinner, Dean added, "The issue is: Are we going to live in a theocracy where the highest powers tell us what to do? Or are we going to be allowed to consult our own high powers when we make very difficult decisions?’"
Those comments are upsetting to Fr. Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life who is a friend of Terri’s family. Pavone was one of the last people to see Terri alive as he prayed with her and her brother Bobby Schindler and sister Suzanne Vitadamo.
"Howard Dean is leading the Democrats well, because he is making clear to all of us that the party walks in lockstep with the culture of death," Pavone said. "Not only on abortion, but now on euthanasia, he uses the line, ‘Are we going to be allowed to consult our own high powers when we make very difficult decisions?’"
Pavone said he disagreed with Dean’s comments that the decision to starve Terri to death over the course of nearly two weeks "was difficult."
"Morally speaking, she was murdered, and being with her at her bedside during her last hours, I saw the terror on her face and the agony of her death," Pavone explained.
Pavone said Terri’s death will definitely be a political issue in upcoming elections.
"But you and your fellow Democrats will be sorry that you made it one," he warned Dean.
Dean’s comments come just days after he told USA Today that his party should stop "speaking down to voters" who oppose the party’s view on controversial issues like abortion.
Related web sites:
Priests for Life – https://www.priestsforlife.org