ALL calls for prayer, action for Terri Schiavo

American Life League denounces the inhumane death sentence that will be imposed upon Terri Schiavo if Judge George Greer does not reverse his order to remove her feeding tube on March 18. "Judge Greer's ruling is unconscionable," said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. "Terri is not being treated as the living, breathing human person that she is. Rather, her basic civil rights are being tragically trampled upon."

Terri Schiavo is a disabled woman currently living in a Florida hospice. She is not terminally ill, and is able to breathe on her own. She does, however, require a feeding tube for routine nutrition and hydration. "Time is running out for Terri, but we encourage people not to give up hope," Brown explained. "Now more than ever, the Catholic Church must pray and take action on Terri's behalf. Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg and his brother bishops across Florida and the rest of the United States must not let Terri die a painful death while they quietly sit by and do nothing."

The Florida Catholic Conference released a statement Feb. 28 stating its "continued concerns for Terri Schiavo." Said Brown, "To the best of our knowledge, there has been a tremendous lack of effort from the Florida Catholic Conference – and in particular from Bishop Lynch, who is Terri's bishop – to assist in this situation. Now is the time for them to offer Masses for Terri's safety and encourage every priest in Florida do likewise, preaching from the pulpits on why one can never remove food and water from a person whose death is not imminent. The priests should also be encouraged to participate in public vigils and prayer services for Terri and to contact public officials insisting that everything possible be done to protect this innocent woman's life."

If Terri's feeding tube is removed, it could take as long as several weeks for her to die an excruciating death from starvation and dehydration. "We call on Catholics everywhere to pray for Terri and for the spiritual conversion of her husband, Michael," Brown said, "All Christians – clergy and lay people alike – must display true courage and stand against this injustice. Terri is not dead yet and we must do all we can to prevent that tragedy from occurring."

Release issued: 2 Mar 05