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Catholic bishops urged to defend Terri Schiavo

“The battle to save Terri Schiavo from murder by starvation and dehydration grows more critical by the moment,” said Joe Starrs, director of American Life League’s Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church. “Therefore, we implore Catholic bishops – and in particular, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg – to take up Terri’s fight in both prayer and action and to uphold Church teaching regarding the dignity of human life.”

As Terri’s life hangs in the balance, American Life League implores the Catholic hierarchy to take a stand. “It is shameful that any bishop could find it acceptable to sit by virtually silent while one of the flock is brutally and publicly murdered,” said Starrs. “Terri is a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We must not permit a slow, painful death to be imposed on her.”

While a number of Catholic bishops throughout the United States have spoken out strongly in Terri’s defense and against the evil that is surrounding her, the response by the Florida Catholic Conference has been minimal. “Bishop Lynch is Terri’s spiritual shepherd; therefore, one would expect him to be the most outspoken defender of her spiritual and civil rights which are under direct attack,” said Starrs. “The lack of clear, decisive action by Bishop Lynch and far too many of his brother bishops across Florida and across the nation has been more than disappointing.”

On March 20, 2004 Pope John Paul II spoke very clearly on assisted sustenance. In his statements, the pope explained, “the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act.” Starrs said, “The Holy Father has made it quite clear that it is our moral obligation to provide food and water to human beings. There is no excuse for the timidity that many in the Catholic hierarchy are displaying in this life and death situation.”

Release issued: 23 Feb 05