Terri Schiavo’s Priest Passes Away at 97 After Fighting for Her Right to Life

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 29, 2020   |   4:15PM   |   Washington, DC

The priest who fight valiently alongside Terri Schiavo’s family to protect her right to life has passed away. The Schindler family fought a losing uphill battle against the court system that decided Terri was better off dead than living as a disabled patient.

Monsignor Thaddeus F. Malanowski, a retired Brigadier General in the United States Army and who became known as “Terri Schiavo’s priest” during her family’s battle to properly care for her, died on January 23, 2020. He was 97.

Bobby Schindler, President of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, said, “Monsignor Ted visited Terri regularly during her time in hospice in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida, and he became a dear friend of our family. If there was ever a man who fit the description of a ‘living saint’ it was Monsignor Ted Malanowski.”

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Schindler added: “It was because of his close relationship with Terri and her family that Michael Schiavo, Terri’s estranged husband and legal guardian, tried to bar Monsignor more than once from visiting Terri. And it was during Terri’s two-week dehydration and starvation death that Michael Schiavo attempted to prohibit Monsignor Malinowski from offering Terri Holy Communion. Monsignor Ted was heartbroken by Terri’s death and was initially one of only a few priests who publicly condemned the decision to deny her food and water. Requiescat in pace.”

Monsignor Malanowski served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army for 30 years, retiring with the rank of Brigadier General. He left the service with an unblemished record. During Terri’s protracted legal battle that began in January 2000, Monsignor Ted would visit Terri every week and sing her songs in Polish.

After Terri’s death, Bobby and his family started the Terri Schaivo Life and Hope Network to help other disables patients like her.