Black Thursday

As I left work around 9:20 a.m. to drive to an appointment today, I turned on the radio to hear that Terri Schiavo had died.

I am deeply saddened by this news. I am saddened that a beautiful child of God has left this world where she brought so much joy and received so much love from her family. I am saddened that her parents and siblings and extended family no longer have Terri to enjoy her presence and share their love with her. I am saddened for my country that cares so little. I am saddened by the rebellion against God and the compromise of the truth that many Christians have shown in this case.

The future is uncertain but I know that I will always remember this ordeal. Terri struggled to live and she was denied the most basic of natural care–nourishment. Her blood is on the hands of her husband Michael Schiavo, his attorney George Felos, the judge George Greer, the handful of appelate judges who returned to case to Greer, the other state and federal judges who refused to hear the case, the governor of Florida Jeb Bush, the president of the United States George W. Bush, the members of Congress who refused to enforce the congressional subpeonas, the Florida Department of Children and Families which refused to intervene even though they said they had the authority and responsibility to do so, and so many more. Ultimately, the people of Florida and of the United States are responsible because we haven’t been diligent to see that life-haters aren’t holding public office and because we’ve devalued human life.

I’ll offer more thoughts later. There are several actions I will be taking in response to this entire matter. The first thing I’ve done today is remove from my blogroll a “Christian” blog that supported Terri’s murder.

May God have mercy on us all.

May the Holy Spirit strengthen Terri’s family and give them peace which passes understanding. Terri stands, whole, in the Father’s presence.

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. (Revelation 14.13)

Remember thy servant, O Lord, according to the favour which thou bearest unto thy people, and grant that, increasing in knowledge and love of thee, she may go from strength to strength, in the life of perfect service, in thy heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Waitress

Saturday afternoon, one of my travelling companions and I left the Woodside Hospice for a late lunch break. We drove a few miles away to a restaurant next to our hotel.

Shortly after being seated, I was looking over the menu while my fellow traveller freshened up in the restroom. A waitress happened by and greeted me. She, seeing me in my clerical attire, asked me, “To what do we owe the honor of your visit with us today? Are you here for a wedding or something?” I told her that I’d been at the place where Terri Schiavo is undergoing her ordeal. The waitress cocked her head sideways and said something about not being aware of what all was going on with the case.

She then said, “I don’t know. Don’t you think it’s time just to let her go?” To which I replied, “If it is time to let her go, it’s certainly not time to starve her to death.” The waitress looked at me as if I’d slapped her. She said, “Is that what’s happening?” I said, “Yes, that’s exactly what’s going on.” She asked again and I reaffirmed my statement. She then turned and walked away, going to help a couple that had just come in the door; before she greeted the couple, she turned to me once more and said, “Is that true, Father?” I shook my head in agreement.

This exchange is another indication that the general populace doesn’t realize what is going on in this case. The press is reporting that Terri is on life support. The media, largely, aren’t reporting that she is being starved to death. They aren’t saying that she needs someone to feed her–no different than an infant would.

I’m not sure what the waitress did after we left but I hope she thought seriously about what she had learned. The truth is life-changing.

Robert Lynch

The Cowardly Bishop

The Most Rev. Robert Lynch, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg (Florida), forbade his clergy from being present in Pinellas Park, Florida at the Woodside Hospice where Terri Schiavo is being starved to death. There is a significant Roman Catholic presence at the hospice, including Monsignor Thaddeus Malanowski, two friars (Paul O’Donnell and Hilary McGee) serving as spiritual advisors to the parents, and occasional priests dropping in from other dioceses.

It was reported that Bishop Lynch made an unscheduled trip out of the country for two weeks to coincide with current events. I know nothing about this man other than what was related from numerous sources on the ground and from what I’ve read from his own statements. It is utterly shameful for a leader of the flock of God to forbid his priests to stand up for life and truth. The bishop is accountable to God for his cowardly actions.

The pope has spoken out publicly about the case of Terri Schiavo. He has spoken in favor of life. I am amazed to see a local bishop publicly repudiate the pope and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on the sanctity of life. Bishop Lynch seems not to be interested in the value of Terri’s life but simply in the exchange of pleasantries between her parents and husband. It’s as if he’s saying, “Play nice with the murderer and everything will be okay.”

If I were one of Bishop Lynch’s priests, I would already be defrocked. I would have disobeyed him and chosen, instead, to obey God. The defense of life is a duty before God.

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. (Psalm 82:3)

Retreat from Babylon

This weekend has been very draining. As an explanation, I’ll simply repeat what I told a reporter this morning before I left Woodside Hospice where Terri Schiavo is starving to death. “I don’t want to be here, but I don’t want to leave.”

The darkness and evil is present in an almost-tangible way at that place. While Terri dies, hundreds of supporters are outside praying, singing, preaching, fasting, watching, lighting candles, and receiving Holy Communion. While she melts away and her family’s grief becomes heavier, a world watches the events as simply another human-interest story they really care little about.

I am torn between my moral obligations to stand in defense of life and those to fulfill promises and responsibilities for others. I contemplated staying longer. In fact, I had tried to get there earlier but had to turn back from sheer exhaustion. In the end, late last night, I decided that I’d better travel home. Now that I’m here, I wish I weren’t.

The travel down and back, the endless standing and walking until my feet were sore and swollen, the sunburn, the sleep deficit, the repetitious “I’m Anglican” to inquiring Roman Catholics: all these things are little in light of Terri’s suffering. Even the occasional hunger and frequent thirst were nothing compared to Terri’s ordeal.

At the moment, I’m fighting sleep, as I did most the trip home. Here are some miscellaneous notes I hope to expand on later. For now, I think I will stop fighting and succumb to the sandman.


The Schindler Family
Terri’s Supporters
Executive Decisions
“Good Men Did Nothing”
The Truth to be Dispersed
The Cowardly Bishop
The Waitress

The Professor
Communion Given to Terri
Unity in the Body of Christ
Travel & Companions
David Vogel

Alabama Clergy Council Resolution About Terri Schiavo

The Alabama Clergy Council adopted the following resolution in recognition of the plight of the family of Terri Schiavo and the sanctity of life.


Whereas Terri Schiavo, a forty-one year-old, disabled woman, currently residing in Pinellas Park, Florida, is now being starved to death; and

Whereas, many medical doctors agree that she is not in a persistent vegetative state and that she can possibly improve with therapy; and

Whereas, the President of the United States, George W. Bush, has stated publicly that in such cases, and in this case in particular, it is best to err on the side of life; and

Whereas, the Alabama Clergy Council values the sanctity of all human life and affirms that the rights and liberty of mankind come from the hand of Almighty God, not from the will of any government, constitution, or creed; and

Whereas, God has created all of mankind in his image; be it therefore

Resolved that the Board of Directors of the Alabama Clergy Council, joins with millions of others, including the National Clergy Council, the Florida Clergy Council, and the parents of Terri Schiavo, Bob and Mary Schindler, in pleading for Terri’s life; and be it further

Resolved that President George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush are encouraged to intervene and have Terri’s feeding tube reinstated; and be it finally

Resolved that copies of this resolution be distributed to concerned parties and others so that our position be clearly understood and that others of faith are spurred to action.