.- As the Christian world focused its attention on the passion and crucifixion of Christ on Good Friday, Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota used his homily that day to speak out against the court-ordered starvation of 41-year old Terri Schiavo. Schiavo, who today enters her 11th day without food or water, has been the center of a nationwide debate on human life and the so-called "right to die."
"Dehydrated, dying for us because of our sins that put him there, he utters the words, 'I thirst,'" said Bishop Aquila of Jesus.
"Terri Schiavo is unable to utter the words," he continued. "She is totally innocent and yet who would have ever imagined, even 25 years ago, that some judges would permit a person to be starved and to be dehydrated to death."
Noting the question of Pontius Pilate, who was given the decision to crucify Jesus, and asked, 'What is truth?', the Bishop said, "That is the question that some of the judges have raised in the case of Terri Schiavo. That is the question that judges in 1973 raised with Roe versus Wade."
"My dearest brothers and sisters," he continued, "at times we are more like Pilate, washing our hands, asking the Lord, 'what is truth?'"
Michael Schiavo, Terri's husband has staged a nearly decade-long battle to have his wife's feeding tube removed, stating that she would have never wanted to stay alive in her current state.
Her parents however, have battled him every step of the way, desiring to care for their daughter until her natural death. They think that recovery is possible with therapy, which Michael has reportedly refused.
Bob Schindler, Terri's father spoke to reporters Monday after visiting his daughter at her hospice in Pinellas Park. "She's failing, but she's still with us," he said. "She has to be saved.
"I plead again that the powers-that-be don't give up on her. We haven't given up on her and she hasn't given up on us."
Terri's sister, Suzanne Vitadamo added that her sister "is wide awake and very responsive."
"She recognizes me, She's weaker but she's still trying to talk."