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Open Letter to Gov Jeb Bush + Pix from Terri Schiavo's Vigil
Envoy Magazine Blog ^ | October 19, 2003 | Pete Vere

Posted on 10/19/2003 8:02:16 AM PDT by NYer

Dear Governor Bush:

As members of the Catholic media, we beg you, in the name of our Lord Jesus, to intervene in the case of Terry Schiavo, and, by extension, in the lives of the millions of persons with special needs in Florida and throughout our country whose lives will be greatly endangered if Ms. Schiavo is left to die, or, more accurately, murdered through the present withdrawal of food and water.

The judge in this case is acting on a remarkable doctrine: That food and water are medicines which may be granted or withheld based on a judicial order. What legal or moral authority gives anyone the right to withhold food and water from an innocent person? Starvation is a most painful and difficult death. If one were to propose it as a method of execution for death row prisoners, it would be instantly opposed by society under the Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. If starvation is cruel and unusual punishment, it should not have the imprimatur of the State of Florida for any innocent citizen.

We admire your seeking the assistance of the St. Thomas More Society concerning what is legally just. And we are strengthened in our hearts by their response that, at the very least, you have the authority and the duty to protect her life and to conduct a proper and thorough investigation. We appreciate the difficulty of this matter and that the right course of action before God may not be the popular one in today's culture.

The moral and just path, however, is clear to us who believe that human life is God's to give and His alone to take. History has shown the truth of the statement,  The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.  We would go a step further in saying that those who have the power to do good, and yet do nothing, participate in the triumph of evil, whether or not their withholding of the good seeks or intends such evil.

It may be that our Lord has put you into office, like Queen Esther of old,  for such a time as this . The God who saved Esther, and through her, the people of God, will not abandon you, dear Governor. He is faithful. May our Lord Jesus Christ be your comfort and guide in this urgent hour, and may you be His instrument to save the life of one of His  little ones , and through her, the dignity of every soul made in His image.

With gratitude and prayer,

Rosalind Moss,
Catholic Author and Speaker
Father Richard John Neuhaus
Editor in Chief, FIRST THINGS
The Institute on Religion and Public Life

Pete Vere, Editor
The Alhambran Magazine

Mark Shea
Catholic Author and Speaker

Philip F. Lawler
Editor, Catholic World Report and Catholic World News

Carl Olson
Editor, Envoy Magazine

John Pacheco
Catholic Author and Speaker

Domenico Bettinelli, Jr
Managing Editor, Catholic World Report magazine

Amy Welborn
Columnist, Our Sunday Visitor

Martin K. Barrack
Catholic Author and Speaker

David Pearson
Features Editor, National Catholic Register

Mike Mohr
Chairman, St. Bernadette Soubirous Chapter of Catholics United for Faith

Dave Armstrong
Catholic Author and Speaker

Gerald Korson
Editor, Our Sunday Visitor

Steve Ray
Catholic Author and Television Host

Rod Bennett 
Editor, WONDER Magazine

Matt C. Abbott
Columnist, the Wanderer

Tim Drake
Staff Writer, National Catholic Register

Dr. Paul Thigpen
Executive Director, The Stella Maris Center for Faith and Culture

Mary Kochan,
Contributing Editor, Catholic Exchange

Sandra Miesel
Catholic Journalist

David Moss
President, Association of Hebrew Catholics

Maureen and Robert Wittmann
Catholic authors and speakers

Steve Kellmeyer
Bridegroom Press

Mike Aquilina
Vice President, St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

Mark Brumley
Catholic Author

Greg Popcak
Catholic Author and Radio Host

Patty Bonds
Catholic Author and Speaker

Jeff Cavins
Catholic Radio and Television Host

Fr. Joseph F. Wilson
Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; schiavo; schindler; terri; terrischiavo; vigil
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Monsignor at the press conference after he unsuccessfully tries to give Terri viaticum. The lady sitting next to him in the blue dress is Pat Anderson. She is the attorney for Terri's family. Chris Ferrara credits her with being the heart, soul and backbone of the Terri's legal team. Please keep her in prayer as well.

1 posted on 10/19/2003 8:02:17 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
Not that it will ever be up to me, but I think I'd be willing to give a free pass to anyone at this juncture who used violence to avert this crime. I simply can't believe this is happening.
2 posted on 10/19/2003 8:06:33 AM PDT by Agnes Heep
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To: NYer
Excellent letter, finally some Catholics with some backbone!
3 posted on 10/19/2003 8:06:33 AM PDT by Budge (God Bless FReepers!)
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To: NYer
What a terrible tragedy. Please continue to post more pictures of the vigils and demonstrations, they are very important. Thanks.
4 posted on 10/19/2003 8:07:51 AM PDT by deannadurbin
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To: american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
Pete Vere is a Canon Lawyer and regular poster to Patrick Madrid's blog at Envoy Magazine. He is at the vigil and posting notes to the blog (click on link at top of thread). He arrived yesterday with his wife who is 9 months pregnant and their young daughter.

Can someone ping the freepers at the vigil to look for Pete. He is wearing a red Alhambra shirt and accompanied by a very pregnant wife.

At 1am, he posted the following, after Terri was refused viaticum by orders from her husband.

* * * * *

I hope to be posting some pictures later on, but there's been some serious happenings go on today at the prayer vigil for Terri.

1) The most serious is that Monsignor attempted to give Terri Holy Communion today, but was stopped by the police and the nursing staff.  Although Monsignor was willing to be arrested, he was stopped by all present.  This is a serious violation of Terri's First Ammendment rights.  The civil attorney for Terri's parents was on the phone with Chris Ferrara almost as soon as it happened, and I can now confirm that Chris is working away on this as hard as he can.  Chris and I shared a few candid words about the situation, and we're pretty much in agreement about a lot of things here, although he obviously is better versed in the civil legalities of what's going on.  It goes without saying that he's very concerned for Terri.  He refuses to give up the fight, however, but he needs everyone's prayers right now.

2) I spent about half an hour with Terri's parents.  They are good people who are being held together by our prayers and the strength of their son Bobby.  Sonya and I presented Terri's father with a St. Benedict Rosary that a St. Blog parishoner and Alhambran had asked us to give the family on behalf of everyone at St. Blog's and the Alhambra.  It just happened that Terri's father had misplaced his rosary and so he was very happy to receive it, as well as our prayers, because he has been borrowing rosaries for the past month.  The rosary he misplaced had been blessed by the Holy Father.  I told him that there is someone at St. Blog who has a rosary blessed by the Holy Father that they would be willing to share with Terri's parents. If that individual is you, please email me at .  I will be more than happy to reimburse the overnight shipping costs.  It would mean a lot to Terri's family right now.

3) Both Monsignor and Terri's parents would be extremely grateful if Fr. Johansen could join us.  Monsignor is visibly tired, as he maintains a full Mass schedule in addition to being present at the vigil whenever he's not saying Mass.  Not only would Fr. Rob not be a burden, but they were very specific they could really could use his assistance in the coming days.  

4) There was a special on double-cheeseburgers at the McDonalds nearby.  So once again the evangelicals insured that we were well-fed.  They also had some bananas and muffins.  Apparently, the evangelicals have really settled into their ministry of providing food to those who come and pray.  It is appreciated by everyone there.  Tomorrow, a number of local evangelical churches will be holding their service just outside of the hospice where Terri is being starved.

5) Terri's father and mother are extremely grateful for all the prayers they are receiving from St. Blog and the Alhambra.  He is getting over a thousand messages a day from people praying and supporting Terri.  Since he cannot physically answer them all, he and Terri's mom asked me to express their gratitude to St. Blog parishoners and the Alhambra. 

5 posted on 10/19/2003 8:09:43 AM PDT by NYer ("Close your ears to the whisperings of hell and bravely oppose its onslaughts." ---St Clare Assisi)
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To: NYer; GatorGirl; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Askel5; ...
6 posted on 10/19/2003 8:09:54 AM PDT by narses ("The do-it-yourself Mass is ended. Go in peace" Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: narses
Yep. Pray.

I wish I had the resources to provide a generator and large screen tv to broadcast terri's videos at the vigil.

The battle to educate people is so damnably frustrating. Evil has dug in it's heels as it has a lot at stake in killing this woman. It's a big step forward in the state being able to determine who lives or dies based on their mental condition. All the while cloaked until the very thin veil of the right-to-die movement. To those who refuse to see, that veil might as well be an iron curtain.
9 posted on 10/19/2003 8:18:24 AM PDT by kenth (This is not your father's tagline.)
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To: NYer
It is hard to believe this is allowed to happen. Could any disabled person now feel safe in Florida?
10 posted on 10/19/2003 8:18:55 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: NYer
It appears that Pat Anderson does not have a nourishment problem.
11 posted on 10/19/2003 8:22:11 AM PDT by verity
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To: sandyeggo

Terri's father comforts Terri's sister with hug after a tough day.

God, please hear us; graciously hear us.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, on this the day of your Beatification, please intercede on behalf of this innocent soul. Amen.

12 posted on 10/19/2003 8:23:40 AM PDT by NYer ("Close your ears to the whisperings of hell and bravely oppose its onslaughts." ---St Clare Assisi)
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To: Agnes Heep; LadyPilgrim; sweetliberty; Travelgirl; Physicist; All
I have to agree, AH. The democRAT communist party wouldn't hesitate to resort to violence at the drop of a hat (or a sign that said simply "COWARD").

BTW, I think the sign, IS THIS HOSPICE OR AUSCHWITZ is very telling!

13 posted on 10/19/2003 8:24:05 AM PDT by Budge
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To: NYer
Praying hard for all of you who are helping Terri.

God's will be done, and if Terri dies from starvation/dehydration, we must try to find what we can do about this politically.

I don't claim to understand all the legal obstacles involved, but if it is true that Governor Jeb Bush has his hands tied in this matter, then we must get legislation going that would untie his hands.

Our Founders could never have envisioned that the doctrine of "separation of powers" would be invoked to legitimize a court-approved execution of an innocent woman.

14 posted on 10/19/2003 8:27:32 AM PDT by shhrubbery!
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To: Budge
+ Continued, earnest prayer ...
15 posted on 10/19/2003 8:29:09 AM PDT by Pegita ('Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His Word ...)
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To: ladyjane
It is hard to believe this is allowed to happen. Could any disabled person now feel safe in Florida?

Believe it or not, this is a step forward. I have argued for years that feeding tubes are not and should not be confused with "life support" equipment such as mechanical breathing equipment or heart stimulators.

Feeding tubes have been removed from "terminal patients" for years without a peep from people who should know better.

I have not kept up with this particular case, but I am stunned that someone, somewhere has finally learned the difference between feeding tubes and life support.

The simple, sad truth is this: if you are going to remove feeding tubes from a comatose or helpless person, the only humane way to do it is to introduce a IV drip with potassium chloride or other quick acting poison and make it equivalent to the execution of a condemned murderer.

Anything less is torture pure and simple.

The real unresolved question for you people of faith deeply involved in this particular case: Are you going to use your Sovereign Citizenship and act decisively to save this woman's life or are you just going to march around and let the Kakistocracy prevail once more?

Best regards,

16 posted on 10/19/2003 8:32:05 AM PDT by Copernicus (A Constitutional Republic revolves around Sovereign Citizens, not citizens around government.)
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To: Pegita
+ Continued, earnest prayer

Always Pegita, always!

17 posted on 10/19/2003 8:32:48 AM PDT by Budge
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To: Budge
I believe the Nazis punished concentration camp inmates by locking them up in a basement and starving them to death. That's murder; plain and simple. People were hanged at Nuremberg for such things.
18 posted on 10/19/2003 8:33:00 AM PDT by Agnes Heep
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To: NYer
I think the question has to be asked...why aren't there more people there?

Many FReepers won't like the answer. 'Cause when I see the videos of Terri I have two reactions. First, I pray for Terri. Second, I pray that if I was ever in that condition, my wife would do everything she could to pull the plug. I can't speak for Terri, but as for me, I would want to go and be with my God rather than living a hell on earth.

I beleive most Americans, contrary to the real and strong feelings here, feel the same way.

19 posted on 10/19/2003 8:33:38 AM PDT by Drango (What's mine is mine: And what's yours is yours: And what's mine is not yours.)
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To: american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...

Thanks for your kind note. It has been a very difficult day emotionally at the vigil, given that Terri was denied Holy Communion. God blessed me with the opportunity, soon after that, to spend about half an hour with Terri's father. He is well aware of FreeRepublic's efforts in other cities to organize and hold prayer vigils for Terri. In fact, Freerepublic was mentioned by name and he was in tears as we discussed it. Freepers form a big part of the over 1000 messages of support he receives over email each day, and these prayers are what holds him and his family together.

He would like to respond to each one individually, however, it is physically impossible for him to do so, especially with all that is going on as he fights to save his daughter. But his words of gratitude were spoken from the heart, amidst tears. Please extend his gratitude and the gratitude of the entire family to FreeRepublic.

Pax Christi,
Pete Vere

20 posted on 10/19/2003 8:34:28 AM PDT by NYer ("Close your ears to the whisperings of hell and bravely oppose its onslaughts." ---St Clare Assisi)
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