February 25, 2005

Schiavo Fed Until March 18

Judge George Greer has issued a stay until March 18, blocking Michael Schiavo from removing Terri Schindler-Schiavo's feeding tube until then. This is a mixed blessing -- on the one hand, it will keep Terri fed until March 18 and will give the Schindlers and Florida officials time to do something definitive to keep her alive. But on the other hand, Judge Greer has said that this will be the last stay he will grant. Apparently, Greer is "no longer comfortable" granting delays in the case, because "there will always be 'new' issues." One would wonder why Judge Greer is uncomfortable with granting these stays, but is still comfortable with starving/dehydrating a woman to death.

In the meantime, the Schindlers intend to pursue new medical tests, hoping to reveal that Terri has greater mental capability than thought. The Florida Department of Children and Families also intends to investigate Terri's case, especially the claims that she is being mistreated by being denied medical care and rehab. Today is the fifteenth anniversary of Terri's collapse, which resulted in her current disability.

As I said, Judge Greer's final stay will expire on March 18, which is the Memorial of St. Cyril of Jerusalem. St. Cyril was a bishop and confessor, and he is now a Doctor of the Church. Beginning on March 9, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis will sponsor a novena to St. Cyril of Jerusalem for Terri Schindler-Schiavo's intentions. In the meantime, in preparation for the novena, you may want to pray the following prayer, derived from the collect for St. Cyril's memorial:

Father, through Cyril of Jerusalem you led your Church to a deeper understanding of the mysteries of salvation. Let his prayers help us to know your Son better and to have eternal life in all its fullness. Through his intercession, extend your saving hand to Terri Schindler-Schiavo, and grant her abundant life in this world and in the world to come. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Coming together as the Mystical Body of Christ, we can make a difference for Terri. Let us ask for the intercession of St. Cyril, and all the saints, as we continue to fight for her life and the lives of all those who are vulnerable to our culture of death.