Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Death Watch 2005

It Begins Again

Jan 25, 2005

"It's judicial homicide. They want to murder her,'' Bob Schindler said at a right-to-life rally Monday in Washington. That's Terri Schiavo's father talking. Let's let him have the last word, since it couldn't have been said any better.

As you have done it unto the least of these…

Another Sentinel article, notifying us that Terri Schiavo's stay of execution has been extended to 5 P.M. Friday. Day by day, oh, sweet Lord...

If, after that deadline passes, the judge has ruled against Terri's parents, Michael-the-would-be-murderer, by permission of his accomplices - the Florida and United States Supreme Courts and the Florida 6th Judicial District - will be free to enter the hospice death chamber and commence with the execution of this helpless, harmless, child of God. She has committed no crime. She has done no one harm. She clearly basks in her parents' affection. (In this photo gallery, the shots of her father's emotionally battle-scarred face - wounds inflicted by the very entities who ought to be protecting this woman - is enough to break your heart.)

Michael's allies would point to the 'indignity' of her so-called 'life,' one which none of us would wish to endure. But I prefer to dwell on her innocence, for that's all she is now - innocent. What's so undignified about that?

Jeb Bush has authorized a Florida Department of Children and Families investigation ( and why, we might wonder, was this gesture put off till the last minute?), but that bureaucracy's representative was not allowed by Judge Greer to speak in today's court proceeding. Still, it's possible something might come of it.

But now that the State has entered the fray on the side of darkness (not an overnight development, by the way - it's been a work in progress at least since the Cruzan case), has begun to busy itself with the business of murder, bestowing on private citizens the right to execute their fellows, I am not sanguine about Terri's prospects.

I had not planned to draw particular attention to this, at least not yet, but since Touchstone's Mere Comments blog has already done so, I might as well give notice that in their March issue I have an article on the Schiavo case. It appears that it may be available online, a bit of a surprise. Regular readers will remember pieces-parts of old posts that, on re-reading I thought might be worthy of preservation, and thankfully the editors thought so too. But there is also some new stuff.

Of course, editors always change a few things in ways I'd rather they didn't, but I still think they did a pretty good job, and I will maintain pride in the piece in this sense and this only: that, should Terri's courtroom plea for her life go unheeded, it might stand as a respectably well-reasoned defense of her right to life, and as a vicarious testament to the outrage of those who are horrified by the sight of the innocent being sacrificed on the altar of the law. In other words, it's all about Terri, and my only hope is that in some unforeseen way, it might do her some good. I wish I could get a copy to her parents, but I don't know how, and only then if I knew it wouldn't exacerbate their pain.

Pray always...


If you want to get stuff to Terri's parents, send it to Fr, Rob (thrown back) or Fr Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. They are in contact with them.

Feb 24, 2005


of Lilac Rose, has a whole series of great posts on Terri's situation.

Alicia has some fine posts up as well on a variety of things.

Feb. 24, 2005

On the way home…

from the driving range last night, I heard the lady announcer for ABC news on our local talk-radio station reporting on Terri's case refer to "the apparently brain-dead woman", and I suddenly knew what it felt like to want to put someone out of her misery.


You know, it'd be nice if just one of those media types would actually do a little research, wouldn't it?

i have a name for a broadcaster like that . . . but it aint' used in high society -- outside of a kennel.
Posted by smockmomma email at February 24, 2005 11:37 PM

I know what you mean, Bill. I am losing patience with all the stupidity, ignorance and misinformation being spread around by the media and...other people.
Posted by susan b. email at February 24, 2005 11:43 PM

Well said. Btw, I always get that feeling when I listen to NPR.
Posted by TSO email at February 25, 2005 11:50 PM

March 1, 2005

From the Inbox

I must say, this is somewhat rewarding:

Thank you for your article, "Let Live or Make Die?". I just read it this evening when I got home and found Touchstone awaiting me in my mail.

Bishop Thomas Wenski, Diocese of Orlando

Well thanks, Your Excellency, for taking the time. (Any other of your fellow priests need a subscription...?)


That is pretty cool, especially since he took the time to thank you for the article.
Jeff Miller

March 6, 2005

The Touchstone blog…

has a bunch of good posts up, but pay special attention to the ones on Terri Schiavo. This one will probably make you angry. And Juli Loesch Wiley has started a petition to have Judge Greer removed from the bench. I don't see how such a thing could come to pass before Terri's scheduled March 18th execution, but it would be appropriate nevertheless, if hardly satisfying.

Mar. 11, 2005


No, not the one by the Summamamas and TSO. It's that Lutheran radio station; they want me again. Nothing from the O'Reilly Cafeteria-Catholic Factor yet. Problem is, I'm leaving town for a week, and by the time I get back, Terri could be dead. But, by your prayers, you won't let that happen.

Mar. 12, 2005

Hope For Terri?

The temptation is to surrender all hope, but we can't. This page says that the Florida DCF, whom Judge Greer essentially flicked off, is "statutorily empowered" to take Terri into protective custody if Greer's death order interferes with an ongoing investigation (that is, into abuse allegations against devoted husband and adulterer Michael). Don't know if it's true or not, just passing it along.

Mar. 12, 2005


town, heading west to tote the bag for the kid. Wish us luck. And I'll try to remember to pray for Terri everyday, because, by the time I get back, something will have happened.


I don't know which of you is luckier...The dad with the super-talented nice kid or the kid with the astute professor/magazine writer for a caddy!
Good luck to you all!
Posted by Ellyn email at March 14, 2005 09:34 AM

Great Blog. Keep on Keeping on for Terri and for Right.
Posted by Pamela (Luse) _______ email at March 16, 2005 09:59 PM

leaving....what does "heading west to tote the bag for the kid " mean? God bless anyway
Posted by william battle email at March 20, 2005 10:51 PM

Ellyn, it's no contest. I'm the lucky one.
William - It means I caddied for her in a golf tournament.
Posted by William Luse email at March 21, 2005 03:35 PM

fair warning: if you don't blog soon, i'm gonna bust a gut.
Posted by smockmomma email at March 23, 2005 06:40 PM

Mar. 25, 2005

He’s almost back

Jeff Culbreath, outraged as you knew he must be by Terri's plight, has emerged briefly from his Lenten discipline to fire off a few posts before disappearing again until after Easter. As usual, he says much well in a short space.

Mar. 25, 2005

Were you wondering…

why the law seems unable these days to "err on the side of life"? To lack common sense? To ignore the meanings that sane people normally associate with mother, father, husband, wife, marriage, life, death, dying, and human being? To be incapable of giving at least a condescending nod to the sacred bonds of our kind? Well, the Secret Agent Man explains why the law in our time is an ass. He certainly knows the law as well as any lawyer should, and may be one for all I know, but you'll be glad he doesn't write like one. Compelling and horrifying at the same time.

Mar. 26, 2005

Have you seen..

this page? Sort of a photo-montage. There's a picture of Bob Schindler walking Terri down the aisle. God Almighty.

Gotten via Lynn.

Mar. 28, 2005

When in doubt…

via NRO's the Corner:

Terri Schiavo had an ''extraordinary'' reaction to a friend's Sunday night visit, her parents' spokesman claimed Monday morning.

Friar Paul O'Donnell, spiritual advisor to Bob and Mary Schindler, said Schiavo received a visit from her father and friend Sunday night. When the friend, identified as Sherry, recalled their days dancing and partying together, Schiavo ''raised her hands up and was moving and started making guttural sounds like she does when she talks to her mother,'' O'Donnell said.

Doctors have concluded that Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state and that apparent reactions to loved ones are reflex actions...

Story here.

Mar. 28, 2005

Mark Shea

considers JPII, Easter, and Terri Schiavo:

All this past week we have been watching the relentless and demonic cruelty of the world doing pretty much what it always does: killing the innocent. And not just killing, but doing it with an exquisite sort of cruelty that somehow manages to combine terrible evil with the kind of detailed pettiness that we remember from our encounters with childhood cruelty...


Mar. 30, 2005

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Felos the Lawyer

I asked in a previous post whether George Felos believed in God, and Varenius supplied this link to the answer. Like, mystical, man.


National Review takes a look at his "spirituality." The guy is either a master manipulater and/or a certifiable nut.
Posted by Chris email at March 30, 2005 11:36 AM

Like, whoa man. He's so deep.
And Chris, I hope you're right in that distinction, but nutty manipulators abound. Insert your favorite lawyer remark (here).
Posted by Thomas email at March 30, 2005 01:50 PM

Thanks, Chris, I'll read it, though I don't really need much more proof that Felos is in a vegetative state.
Posted by William Luse email at March 30, 2005 06:01 PM

Matthew Franck…

Mar. 30, 2005

in The Court of the Problem, traces the root of all evil in the Schiavo case back to Cruzan - no surprise - but (which is a surprise) lays it squarely at the feet of...William Rehnquist. An enlightening and disturbing piece.

Hey Bill, I just read your "Let Live" article. It was very powerful.
My mother-in-law took care of her brother, who was labeled PVS, for years. As in Terri's case, a doctor said he wasn't actually PVS, but that it would take an act of Congress to get that taken off his charts (Of course, as we've seen in Terri Schiavo's case, an act of Congress can't even do the trick.) She is concerned that so many people keep saying, "But Terri's not PVS," as if that is *the reason* we should not starve and dehydrate her. What does this say about people out there who *are* PVS? Aren't their lives worth saving? Of course.
There is an excellent, if not scary, article on National Review Online http://www.nationalreview.com/smithw/smith200503290755.asp that basically says that some ethicists think it would be OK to harvest PVS patients for organs. I can't think of an expletive strong enough to express how disturbed this article made me.
Posted by Leslie Fain email at March 31, 2005 12:47 AM

Yes, I read that, the one about non-human persons? The part that got me was Smith's assertion that it does not put one out of the mainstream of bioethicists in this country if one says that people lacking higher brain function can be declared...nonpersons. And, in fact, that's what Florida law does without saying it in so many words, a modification made possible by Cruzan, as Mr. Franck demonstrates.
Posted by William Luse email at March 31, 2005 01:02 AM

I just heard that Terri died. May the Lord have pity on us!
Posted by alicia email at March 31, 2005 11:08 AM

Don’t Forget

Apr 13, 2005

Jeff Miller hasn't, and neither has his parish, Immaculate Conception, which yesterday held a memorial Mass for Terri Schiavo, attended by her parents Bob and Mary Schindler. Standing room only, according to Jeff. He tells about it here.

Good for Immaculate Conception! Terri and her family must not be forgotten. p.s. I was Baptized there!The 7am Mass at my parish on July 20 will be for Terri. I sent the Schindlers a Mass card yesterday.(Mass intentions are scheduled months in advance)
Posted by Lynn email at April 14, 2005 09:50 PM

Which parish is that? Holy Faith? St. Patrick's? St Augustine's?
Posted by William Luse email at April 15, 2005 01:00 AM

Holy Faith http://www.holyfaithchurch.org/
My pastor had a strong statement defending Terri's right to live in the parish bulletin.
Posted by Lynn email at April 15, 2005 01:30 AM

Things have changed since I was there.
Posted by William Luse email at April 15, 2005 01:32 AM

For the better, I hope?Gainesville has a fourth parish now: Queen of Peace.
Posted by Lynn email at April 15, 2005 01:34 AM

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