Among the pilgrims present for Pope Benedict XVI’s Wednesday audience this morning were Bob and Mary Schindler—parents of Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman, who succumbed to court ordered starvation in March.
The Schindlers had traveled to Rome to thank the Vatican for its support during their highly publicized battle to save brain-damaged Terri from her husband, who insisted on removing a feeding tube, which provided her with food and water.
Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, received the couple yesterday praising their ongoing efforts to defend life.
A statement from the Pontifical council, said that the Schindlers, accompanied by members of the Association of Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, came to thank Cardinal Martino for his efforts to save their daughter's life and to present the Vatican with the statutes of the new association, which was recently created to defend life from conception to natural death.
During the meeting, the cardinal recalled Pope Benedict’s warning that "the freedom to kill is not a real freedom, but a tyranny that reduces the human being to slavery."
The cardinal said that, "That, obviously, does not only relate to abortion and euthanasia but also to the death penalty, war, terrorism, the destruction or manipulation of human embryos, dying from hunger or the devastation of the environment."
During the tumultuous Schiavo battle, the Vatican had spoken out, comparing the court, which ordered the feeding tube removed, to an executioner who “arbitrarily brought forward” Terri’s death.