.- Yesterday, in the wake of Florida Federal Judge James Whittemore’s decision not to reinsert brain-damaged Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube, which has been absent since Friday, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver added his voice to the fight for Schiavo’s life.
He said that, "The bishops and lay faithful of Florida have the task of leading American Catholics in the Terri Schiavo case. They're working hard to provide that leadership. Our job, outside Florida, is to support Ms. Schiavo and all those concerned for her well being with our prayers.”
The Archbishop said that, “We especially need to pray for Ms. Schiavo's family.”
He also noted the wider implications that this case could have for the culture, citing Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who “has already expressed his fear that allowing Ms. Schiavo to starve would be 'a grave step toward the legal approval of euthanasia in the United States.’”
“He speaks for many other concerned persons around the world,” the Archbishop added.
"Removing food and water from a patient can only be justified if the person is terminal, and natural death is imminent”, the Archbishop Chaput continued.
“For disabled persons not in imminent danger of death and able to breathe on their own, starvation and dehydration to provoke death amount, in effect, to a form of murder. Such actions attack the sanctity of human life. They reject any redemptive meaning to suffering. They can never be justified."
Earlier today, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta denied yet another attempt on the part of Schiavo’s parents to replace the feeding tube which provides their daughter with food and water.
Despite today and yesterday’s setbacks, they have vowed to continue their fight.