Heart of Gold: Fool's Gold
Thomas A. Droleskey
As Mrs. Terri
Schindler-Schiavo continues to weaken from her fifth straight day without
food or water, her bishop, the Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch, maintains
a steadfast public silence about her plight. No plea for her life to
be saved. No appearance at the Woodspice Hospice to pray with the good
souls who have been maintaining a vigil there for a miracle to save
her life. No effort to enter the hospice itself, as far as we know,
to visit Terri and to offer her the cup of cold water in the Holy Name
of the Divine Redeemer that He Himself said would not go without its
reward. No, just a stony, steadfast silence as his Community Relations
Director directs people to the website of the Florida Catholic Conference.
on that website is a statement issued by Bishop Lynch on October 15,
2003, when Mrs. Schiavo's feeding and hydration tubes were last removed.
The statement is worth reproducing in its entirety here:
|OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF BISHOP ROBERT N. LYNCH CONCERNING
THE REMOVAL OF THE FEEDING TUBE OF TERRI SCHIAVO, OCTOBER 15, 2003
With the news that the feeding tube
has now been removed from Terri Schiavo, my own prayers and those
of thousands of other people go out for Terri and for her family.
May the author of all life look kindly on Terri and provide consolation
and hope for those who love her.
I continue to believe that such decisions should not be made in
the court system but must be made on a case-by-case basis by families
and/or other responsible parties at the clear direction of each
one of us well in advance of a crisis.
Just a heart
of gold, fool's gold, that is. No condemnation of the act of murdering
an innocent human being. Simply an expression of regret that the "decision"
about this victim-soul could not have been reached by a consensus of
the family members. It is clear from this statement that Bishop Lynch,
who said on August 12, 2003, that the removal of food and water could
be justified in some circumstances, believes that there is indeed a
"decision" to be made about the provision of "life sustaining
medical treatment" in such cases as Mrs. Terri Schiavo's.
there was never any "decision" to be made with Mrs. Schiavo
other than for her faithless husband to fulfill the responsibilities
of providing her unconditional love until the moment of her natural
death, relying upon the graces found in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony
to care for his wife no longer what it cost and no matter how long she
lived. As late as February 28, 2005, Bishop Lynch referred to the situations
of persons who are "in extremis," that is, at the point of
death. Mrs. Schiavo is now at the point of death because of the efforts
under cover of law to kill her. Prior to this point, though, she was
no nearer death than any one of us are, noting that each beat of our
hearts moves us closer to the moment of our own Particular Judgments.
There was never any "decision" to be made with respect to
the fulfillment of the binding precepts of the Fifth Commandment and
the Gospel precepts of Charity. Period.
No human being
has the right to "give directives" to have himself starved
or dehydrated to death. Bishop Lynch's statements that individuals do
indeed have this right are in contravention of Catholic moral teaching.
Sure, they are in line with the errors contained in the Florida bishops'
pastoral letter of 1989. They are in line with the errors contained
in the late Bishop John Raymond McGann's pastoral letter on the subject
in 1996. They are in line with the statements of Louisville Archbishop
Thomas Kelly and Bishop Walter Sullivan, then the Bishop of Richmond,
in 1998 when they reaffirmed Mrs. Michele Finn's "right" to
starve and dehydrate her brain-damaged husband, Hugh Finn, to death
in a nursing home in Manassas, Virginia. They are not in line with the
binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law. They
have been repudiated in recent weeks by Renato Cardinal Martino, President
of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and Bishop Eli Sgreccia,
President of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Bishop Robert Lynch
remains silent as one of his own sheep is being murdered under cover
of law. His past statements are reprehensible enough. His current silence
cries out to Heaven for him to be removed as the Bishop of Saint Petersburg.
He is a menace to the salvation of souls and to the physical safety
of the sheep who have been entrusted to his pastoral care unto eternity.
we fly unto the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady's
Immaculate Heart was pierced on Good Friday as she stood by the foot
of her Divine Son's Holy Cross by the sword of sorrow that had been
prophesied by Simeon at the moment of her Purification. Her Immaculate
Heart is breaking anew over the unnecessary suffering being imposed
upon Terri Schindler-Schiavo. It is breaking anew at the sight of one
of her Divine Son's bishops betraying one of the souls for whom He shed
His Most Precious Blood. We take our consolation from the fact that
no purely human being suffered as she suffered during her Son's Passion
and Death. We simply offer up the sorrows of the present moment, including
the state of the Church in her human elements, to her Immaculate Heart,
trusting that she will use all that we give her for the honor and glory
of the Blessed Trinity and for the good of the entire Church.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, beseech thy Divine Son for the needs
of Holy Mother Church in this time of apostasy.
and Saint John Fisher, pray for the removal of all bad bishops from
office, especially Bishop Robert N. Lynch.
Lisieux, pray for the victim soul of the Diocese of Saint Petersburg,
Therese Schindler-Schiavo, to be comforted by all of the angels and
saints as she suffers in union with One to Whom you devoted your life
at Carmel, Our Crucified and Risen Saviour Jesus Christ.
Pius X, pray for an end to the scourge of Modernism in the Church and
for the restoration of Catholic Tradition.