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|Wanda Franz, Ph.D. president of National Right to Life, presented Pope John Paul II with an aerial photograph of the massive 1990 Rally for Life, attended by over 350,000 people in Washington, DC.|
Paul II's abundant love for children is obvious here as he
holds and blesses a little child.
By Ernest Ohlhoff
and Kathleen Sweeney
From fatherhood radiates life, and from the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, there radiated a culture of life that has been a beacon of hope to the whole world. Just as a biological father is called to protect his children and honor the mother who has nurtured them in her womb, this religious father has been unfailing in his call for protection of the unborn, and eloquent in his honor of mothers whose task of nurturing the coming generation is central to the survival of civilization.
Pope John Paul II was quintessentially a father in an age when the culture of death has under mined the role and dignity of fatherhood. In contrast John Paul II's spiritual fatherhood seemed virtually to beget the culture of life.
His sensitive understanding of the pressure exerted on women in a pro-abortion culture led him to urge all sectors of society to provide welcome and support to new life and to parents in difficulty. Perhaps most moving were his words to women who had personally experienced the tragedy of abortion:
"The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope.... With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life." (Evangelium Vitae #99)
Schindlers, Terri's Supporters Say Goodbye to a "Remarkable Woman"
By Dave Andrusko
|Bob Schindler, Terri Shiavo's father, hugs a friend after speaking during a memorial service held for Terri.|
Five days after Terri Schindler Schiavo's death by dehydration, at least 800 mourners gathered at an emotionally charged funeral Mass to remember a brave and loving woman whom they said taught them how to live.
There were so many who wished to pay tribute to Terri and to the entire Schindler family that the overflow crowd at the Most Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church extended into the church's vestibule and outside where the mourners sat on folding chairs and listened to the service over loudspeakers.
The service celebrated the life of a woman who died March 31, nearly 14 days after her husband secured permission for the third time to disconnect her feeding tube.
After her death, Michael Schiavo went through with his plans for cremation, which had been vigorously opposed by the family. But in death, as in life, the family was powerless before the trial Judge George Green.
As her legal guardian, Schiavo announced that her ashes would be buried at his family's plot. At the time of the April 5 service, which took place in Gulfport, Florida, Schiavo had not yet told the Schindlers when or where he would conduct his own memorial service.
Among the speakers was Terri's sister. "I am sorry, though, that pure love alone was not enough to keep you from harm," Suzanne Vitadamo told the crowd.
"You are a remarkable woman," she said. "Your smile brought us great joy. You have shown the world what perseverance and determination are all about."
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The address again is
Wanda Franz, Ph.D.
An assistant news editor of the Lancaster Sunday Times (lancasteronline.org, 4/2/2005) had this to say: "The Schiavo case was wrenchingly complex, with no easy answers. But to the extremists, the answers are easy." In case you wondered: the "extremists" are "social conservatives" and the "cultural right" who think that an innocent person shouldn't be executed by starvation.
Where is the "complexity" in the tragic case of Terri Schindler Schiavo?
* Terri Schiavo was a disabled person, but she was not dying. To say, as the many defenders of her killing did, that "she should be allowed to die" or that we should "let her die" was not a matter of recognizing "complexity" but of misrepresenting her status.
* Terri Schiavo was guilty of no crime. Attorneys for Schiavo's parents and siblings argued before federal district judge James Whitemore that killing Terri Schiavo by starvation amounted to "cruel and unusual punishment," in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Judge Whitemore ruled that the protection of that amendment was unavailable to Mrs. Schiavo--because she was no criminal.
Had Mrs. Schiavo been a serial killer, any judicial ruling condemning her to death by starvation would have been immediately overturned on appeal. And the judge imposing such a sentence would have seen his career end in shame. But of course, there is the "complexity" of the case--where wrong is right, and the "judicial process" results in injustice.