Press Releases 2004
Nov. 8, 2004 The Election is Over. Our Work is Just Beginning.
9/24/04 Statement of Catholic Media Coalition on the Florida Court ruling against "Terri's Law"
Press Releases for 2002
November 19, 2003
CMC Designates Sunday November 30th Terri Schindler Schiavo Day
The Catholic Media Coalition announced today the designation of the first Sunday of Advent, November 30th, as Terri Schindler Schiavo Day. Terri Schiavo is the Florida woman brain-damaged after an unexplained collapse fourteen years ago. Since 1998 her legal guardian, Michael Schiavo (Terri's adulterous husband who has two children by another woman) has relentlessly sought her death by dehydration. Terri's parents and siblings have fought vigorously to protect her and force Michael to rehabilitate Terri using money awarded in a civil lawsuit FOR HER THERAPY. To date Michael has used most of the money awarded to rehabilitate Terri to pay lawyers working to secure her death by dehydration. (See www.terrisfight.org) The case is now widely known and recognized by many as an ideological struggle between the spiritual forces who revere the sanctity of life and those who believe the imperfect are unfit to live and should be allowed, or even forced, to die.
"We chose the first Sunday of Advent to promote Terri's cause," said Mary Ann Kreitzer, CMC President, "because it begins the season when we wait for the Messiah, our Savior, who brings hope to the poor, the unwanted, and the dispossessed. Terri represents those whom our utilitarian society sees as the useless eaters of the 21st century. The fact that she has survived so far despite two episodes of dehydration and over a decade of neglect and abuse is a miracle of grace. Terri's life continues to be threatened by her legal guardian assisted by a runaway judiciary that is antagonistic not only toward those with disabilities like Terri, but toward the family itself. We continue to hope, as did the Israelite people of the Old Testament, that God Himself will defend His precious daughter, our sister Terri."
CMC calls on all people of good will to pray and sacrifice personally for Terri Schiavo on November 30th, but also to ask their parishes and congregations to include her in the prayers of the faithful and the prayer intentions of the day. We encourage churches to run bulletin notices inviting their congregations to pray for Terri and remember her 40th birthday on December 3rd by sending birthday cards and donations to the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation or to organizations that assist the disabled. We urge those who support Terri's right to be fed to send $4.00, one dollar to celebrate each decade of her life, to the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation at 4615 Gulf Blvd., #104-103, St Pete Beach, FL 33706.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mary Ann Kreitzer
1216 Mill Rd.
Woodstock, VA 22664
OCTOBER 23, 2003
MICHAEL SCHIAVO AND DEATH ATTORNEY GEORGE FELOS CREATE FABRIC OF LIES TO DENY TERRI'S CIVIL RIGHTS
The Catholic Media Coalition today called for all people of good will to demand a Justice Department investigation into criminal violations of Terri Schiavo's civil rights and to request the immediate removal of Michael Schiavo as Terri's guardian. "They're like the two con-men in the fairy tale weaving imaginary clothes for the emperor," said President of the CMC, Mary Ann Kreitzer. "Michael Schiavo and George Felos have created a garment of lies and deception to convince the world that Terri Schiavo wants to starve to death."
The facts of the case reveal a picture of deception. A healthy young woman collapses at age 26 and is admitted to the ER with a rigid neck, consistent with strangulation. A radiologist report, hidden from the family for years, shows a broken femur and multiple fractures indicating, according to the doctor, that someone "worked her over." Terri tells family members she wants to divorce Michael shortly before her collapse. Within months of banking a major malpractice award FOR TERRI'S REHABILITATION, Michael orders a do-not-resuscitate order and denies treatment for infection and all therapy. A nurse and two nurse technicians, under oath, describe Michael's desire for Terri's death and possible criminal action to kill her. They describe their medical notes being altered to remove evidence that Terri is alert and aware.
After years of neglect and only after teaming up with right-to-kill attorney George Felos, Michael "remembers" Terri wants no tubes. Portraying himself as a loving husband, Michael is actually shacked up for over ten years with another woman who has borne him two children. Michael moves Terri to a hospice for the terminally ill where George Felos is chairman of the board, a clear conflict of interest. Despite videos showing Terri awake and responding, Michael and Felos create a picture of a "comatose" woman, a vegetable. They deny her parents and siblings the right to visit, deny Terri the sacraments of the Catholic Church, and threaten anyone complying with Gov. Bush's executive order to feed her.
"Michael Schiavo and George Felos think the American people are as stupid as the emperor in the fairy tale and will buy the whole cloth of their lies about Terri," said Mary Ann Kreitzer of the CMC. "We don't believe it. We call on all people of good will to expose this scam. There has NEVER been a criminal investigation of Terri's collapse or the conflict of interests surrounding her case. We seek the intervention of the Justice Department to defend her civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the first amendment right to freedom of religion." Kreitzer summed up saying, "Terri is a Catholic. How can a casual comment about not wanting to be hooked up to tubes, if it was really made, trump her religious faith which teaches that food and water are never extraordinary means of life and cannot be withheld to bring about death."
CMC commends Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Legislature and urges their continued intervention. We urge all citizens to contact their senators and congressmen asking for a Justice Department investigation into the violation of Terri's civil rights and immediate removal of Michael Schiavo as guardian. Contact Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Department of Health and Human Services' Civil Rights Division. Contact information is listed below.
Department of Justice and Attorney General John Ashcroft:
Call the AG at 202-353-1555 E- mail AskDOJ@usdoj.gov.
Report Civil rights violations to email@example.com
Civil rights hotline is (800) 869-4499 Hotline fax is (202) 616-9898.
To file a complaint with the office of civil rights of the Department of Health and HumanServices download the form at http://hhs.gov/ocr/discrimhowtofile.doc and Fax to 404-562-7881. Or e-mail to OCRcomplaint@hhs.gov.
For more information see www.terrisfight.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2003
Catholic Media Coalition
Contact: Mary Ann Kreitzer
The euthanasia murder of Terri Schindler Schiavo by starvation and dehydration which began yesterday at 2:00 p.m. is a violation of her right to life and a crime against humanity. The Catholic Media Coalition condemns it unequivocally and calls on every Catholic bishop in the United States to express public outrage against this violation of Terri's right to life and her human dignity. We also call on her bishop, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, to defend her right to receive the sacraments and the comfort of the faith in this time of trial.
The Catholic Church, of which Terri is a member, teaches that food and water are ordinary means of life and may never be removed unless an individual is imminently dying (within a few hours or days) or cannot receive benefit from them. Terri clearly does not meet that standard. She is not dying and has obviously benefited over the years from tube feeding. Legal decisions allowing the deliberate killing by neglect of the weak and defenseless are always immoral.
Pope John Paul II addressed this issue in his letter to the Bishops of the World issued June 21, 1991. "When legislative bodies enact laws that authorize putting innocent people to death and states allow their resources and structures to be used for these crimes, individual consciences, often poorly formed, are all the more easily led into error. In order to break this vicious circle, it seems more urgent than ever that we should forcefully reaffirm our common teaching, based on sacred Scripture and tradition, with regard to the inviolability of innocent human life."
On October 2, 1998 the Pope specifically addressed the issue of nutrition and hydration affirming a statement of the U.S. bishops' pro-life committee saying it, "rightly emphasizes that the omission of nutrition and hydration intended to cause a patient's death must be rejected and that, while giving careful consideration to all the factors involved, the presumption should be in favor of providing medically assisted nutrition and hydration to all patients who need them." The Pope made this statement the same day former Louisville, KY anchorman, Hugh Finn, had his feeding tube removed by legal order at the request of his wife Michele and against the wishes of his parents and siblings. Hugh died an agonizing death nine days later. [See HUGH FINN]
Mary Ann Kreitzer, President of the Catholic Media Coalition, expressed profound sorrow at the tepid response of the Catholic bishops to this crisis of euthanasia. "I'm ashamed as a Catholic to say that our Coalition contacted every bishop in the country asking for their support for Terri and received only a handful of replies. Most of those responding told us they would not take a stand. Her situation is not unique. Murder by neglect is occurring with greater frequency around the country with the complicity of medical staff and the courts. If the Catholic hierarchy fails to peak with authority their silence will be construed as consent. Bishop Lynch's behavior has been baffling. It took incredible pressure from the CMC to finally get a statement from the Florida bishops, and even that is tainted with inaccuracies.
We desperately need men of courage like Bishop Clemens von Galen who mounted his pulpit in Munster Cathedral on August 3, 1941 and blasted the German euthanasia program that was murdering the helpless. He did not stop it, but most certainly reduced the death toll. Doctors and judges were responsible for that deadly program and the United States is now on the same road they traveled. Unless we vigorously defend the innocent, like Terri Schiavo, and repress these evil judges and the doctors who are complicit with them, we will have euthanasia on a massive scale.
"Think of the police officers surrounding Terri's bed and the Hospice building to make sure no one interferes with her deliberate premeditated murder. Think of Judge Greer who ordered Terri's execution and the Supreme Court of Florida and the federal judge who would not stop him. Then consider Bishop von Galen's words. 'None of us will be safe.There will be no police to protect the victims, no court of appeal..Woe to mankind, woe to the German people, if we thus transgress God's commandment, delivered amid thunder and lightning from Mount Sinai and implanted in the heart and conscience of man, Thou shalt not kill.'"
The Catholic Media Coalition stands with Terri and the Schindler family in this terrible trial and offer our prayers. We share their our moral outrage at this cruel injustice. We beg all people of good will to storm heaven for redress and to enter the political arena to restore morality to this country which has strayed so far from our founding principles. We urge citizens to continue contacting Governor Jeb Bush begging his intervention. It is time for a showdown between the executive branch of government and a runaway judiciary that has embraced the murder of the innocent.
Mary Ann Kreitzer, President
Catholic Media Coalition
The Catholic Media Coalition on Friday, July 18, 2003, sent an urgent appeal to Florida’s ten Roman Catholic Bishops asking them to speak out publicly on behalf of Terri Schiavo. The 39-year-old Catholic woman, who suffered a medical incident 12 years ago, is the subject of a hotly contested court case in which her husband, Michael Schiavo, wants her feeding tube removed. The Schindlers, Terri’s family, are fighting for her life and claim she responds to their visits. Video testimony shows Terri is not in PVS, a persistent vegetative state, a condition necessary for the Florida courts to order death by starvation. A last minute court appeal will be made. If it is not upheld, the path will be clear for Judge George Greer to set a date to commence the starvation. Currently, an Internet petition addressed to Governor Jeb Bush is circulating on Terri’s behalf.
The CMC, with 18 media signatories from across the nation, calls upon the Bishops to proclaim the teaching of the Catholic Church in this benchmark right-to-life case namely; that the omission of nutrition and hydration intended to cause a patient’s death must be rejected. A further consideration concerns the fact that a priest of Terri’s St. Petersburg Diocese gave misrepresentations of Church teaching in court, the record of which has never been corrected. New evidence has surfaced suggesting the possibility that Terri’s collapse may have been the result of physical abuse. Such evidence makes it even more imperative that a full investigation be made. The Catholic Media Coalition exhorts the bishops to plead for Terri’s life on both humane and moral grounds.
“I find it inexplicable,” says Cecilia H. Martin, writer and editor of The Catholic Advocate (St. Augustine Diocese), “that the Florida bishops have made ten collaborative pleas for mercy to the governor in the last five years for persons on death row and yet have not make a single public statement for Terri Schiavo. Church staffers even have a “Bells Campaign” wherein parishes are encouraged to toll their bells for two minutes on the days prisoners are executed, but for Terri? Silence. We are waiting for the bishops to break that silence and defend the life of this innocent woman.”
The Schiavo case has received national attention. The Schindler-Schiavo Foundation tells Terri’s story on www.terrisfight.org. Video clips of Terri responding to stimuli may be found at www.zimp.org/vid.html. The CMC Letter to the Florida Bishops is attached.
Mary Ann Kreitzer,
of the Catholic Media Coalition
Sec., Catholic Media Coalition
Two critical issues, one at each end of life’s spectrum confront Catholics in Florida. While one life hangs in the balance and thousands of others are summarily ignored, the silence of the Florida bishops is deafening.
The Terri Schiavo case has gained national media attention. A decade ago, a young Catholic woman suffered a loss of oxygen to the brain from causes still unsure. She was resuscitated but left with severe brain damage. Her husband, Michael Schiavo began a malpractice suit in order to obtain funds for her medical care. Over a million dollars were awarded.
Although Terri is not on life support machines – she requires only a feeding tube -- Michael Schiavo spent the money specifically designated for Terri’s rehabilitation for court cases to permit Terri’s life to be ended by starvation. Terri’s husband not only denied her therapy but also prevented her from receiving antibiotics to fight a virulent infection. He severely restricted her family’s visits, does not allow flowers, cards, or even photos of her family. Terri’s family begged to have guardianship of her so they can take her home and care for her; they have been ignored.
Terri comes from a Catholic family who appealed to their Bishop Robert N. Lynch, for moral support. The diocese sent Fr. Gerard Murphy to the court trials as their official spokesman. Fr. Murphy testified, “Catholics particularly make no distinction between allowing yourself to die from an illness and actively killing yourself. I think that when assisted suicide passes in the state of Florida as I believe it will…People would line up to take a pill or shot and go to sleep.”
Fr. Murphy told the court the removal of Terri’s feeding tube “would be consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church,” thereby providing Church authorization for Terri to be euthanized. Not only was the priest’s sworn testimony on Church teaching erroneous, but also it set a dangerous precedent for future cases. Bishop Lynch responded to Fr. Murphy’s testimony: “...While I think he (Murphy) may have over-reached somewhat, I think it would be difficult to refute as being totally theologically incorrect.”
In April, 2001, the St. Petersburg Diocese released an official statement equivocating on Catholic moral theology: “Since there is disagreement, (between Terri’s family and Michael Schiavo), the Catholic Church would prefer to see all parties take the safer path but it must and will refrain from characterizing the actions of anyone in this tragic moment.”
The Florida bishops’ document, Dignity of Life, states: “Such respect for human life precludes the direct, intentional killing of innocent human beings. Respect for human life and the dignity of each person, in other words, renders both euthanasia and assisted suicide morally objectionable. ‘By euthanasia is understood an action or an omission which of itself or by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated.’ (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Euthanasia, 1980, sec 2.).”
Terri’s case is currently in court in Clearwater, FL. For the first time, videos are being shown of Terri’s condition on national television news (Fox news, Oct. 16, 2002) over the objections of Michael Schiavo. She smiles, tracks objects with her eyes, follows simple commands, swallows. Under Florida law, a patient can only be killed if they are in a persistent vegetative state. Michael Schiavo has brought in pro-euthanasia doctors to testify that Terri is in a “vegetative” state and should be put to death.
Bishop Robert N. Lynch has remained silent in the defense of Terri’s life. The remaining bishops of Florida have also been voiceless. Should the courts rule in Michael Schiavo’s favor Terri will take between five days and two weeks, suffering the ravages of thirst and starvation before she dies. Catholics are asking: Where is the outrage? They are urging the Florida bishops to publicly defend Terri’s life and proclaim the Church’s teaching on euthanasia.
Meanwhile, the Florida Catholic Conference and the Florida bishops are preparing for the annual state Respect Life conference, to be held in Orlando, Florida, October 18-20, 2002. This year’s event omits any specific practicum on abortion. Word of Life, Light of the World instead promotes the “seamless garment” premise that emphasizes an inner connectedness within a variety of issues.
Word of Life, Light of the World includes thirty workshops on such topics as: the economic appropriateness of funerals, social thought, a historical review of the death penalty, equability and economic justice, and “the serious water crisis” in Florida among others.
The “seamless garment” theory, made popular by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, was designed with the purpose of stemming the tide of Catholic voters leaving the Democratic Party over its embrace of legalized abortion. The fall-out from its promotion effectively defused the passion and energy of the Right-to-Life movement. It further served to isolate and denigrate pro-lifers as “single-issue” voters. The Orlando conference is scheduled just two weeks prior to the November 5, 2002 election.
Catholics began communicating their displeasure over the ousting of the abortion issue from a Respect Life conference back in August. Because there has been no concession by the conference to redirect its energies to the fundamental mission of Respect Life, the Palm Beach County Right to Life League will hold a Love Life Exposition on the sidewalk in front of the conference location, the Radisson hotel in downtown Orlando. The Love Life team will hold large pictures of aborted babies for the benefit of participants and host dignitaries.
president of the league claims “there has been a near blackout for
30 years on an unchanging truth of our faith: Thou shall not kill
the unborn.” Geisman said the group is hoping their presence will
help the Catholic bishops and clergy in Florida break the silence:
“We want our shepherds to lead us in building the firm pro-life foundation
they describe in the Conference of Catholic bishops’ own document,
Living the Gospel of Life. In it our bishops tell us that the foundational
pro-life issues are ‘direct attacks on innocent human life, such as
abortion and euthanasia.’ We just want them to do their job.”
Cecilia H. Martin, The Catholic Advocate,
Jacksonville, FL firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Ann Kreitzer, Les Femmes,
Woodstock, VA www.lesfemmes-thetruth.org
Valerie Lubitz, President, Los Pequeños de Cristo, Albuquerque, NM
Edmundo Vargas, President, Defenders
of the Magisterium, San Antonio, TX www.dotm.org
Fred Paschall, Editor, The Defender,
Berkley Springs, WV www.thedefender.org
Timothy Ehlen, Chairman, St. Francis Xavier Historic Preservation Guild, Petoskey, Michigan
J. Hallett, Oakland, CA www.supportourdiocese.com
(Mrs.) Laurie Balbach Taylor, Called
to Conversion, Milford, Ohio, email@example.com
The Orlando Truth, Tangerine,
FL 32778 firstname.lastname@example.org.
BISHOPS' SEX ABUSE COMMITTEE IN QUESTION
Membership of the much-ballyhooed lay Committee on Sex Abuse which will oversee the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) planned office for Child and Youth Protection was completed last month and announced by USCCB President, Bishop Wilton Gregory. Among the thirteen designees are public dissenters from Catholic Church teaching including some who advocate abortion and homosexual rights. Their presence on the board leads the undersigned members of the Catholic Media Coalition to conclude that the bishops are not serious about addressing the scandals, but in fact continue as public enablers of child abuse.
Leon Panetta, President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff from 1994-1997 and a seven term Congressman (1977-1993), has a solid pro-abortion record including support for the infamous partial birth infanticide. His presence on a board to "protect children" is ludicrous and conflicts with the bishops ' own statements including Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics which says, "No public official, especially one claiming to be a faithful and serious Catholic, can responsibly advocate for or actively support direct attacks on innocent human life." To name such an individual to the board is a violation of a sacred trust and blatantly illustrates the hypocrisy or cluelessness of the bishops.
Alice Bourke Hayes, President of the University of San Diego, has during her seven-year tenure allowed the promotion of homosexuality on campus under the guise of "diversity" and "inclusion." USD activities have included a "coming out" play, Wish Fulfillment, and welcoming many radical gay advocacy groups to speak to the two active homosexual student organizations at USD, Pride for undergraduates and Pride-Law for law school students. Under Hayes leadership the university named homosexual professor Dr. Joseph Colombo chairman of the Religious Studies Department in 1998 and in May 2002 honored a "distinguished graduate" Lynn Schenk, who as a U.S. House of Representatives member had a 100% pro-abortion voting record. In view of the fact that over 95% of the scandal cases involved priests abusing post pubertal boys, naming a champion for homosexuality to the board is irresponsible.
Robert S. Bennett became a household name defending a serial sexual predator who also happened to be President of the United States, Bill Clinton. Bennett's advocacy for the most pro-abortion President the country has ever known, not to mention the question of how much he knew about Clinton's perjury, makes his participation on the board a signal embarrassment.
Dr. Paul McHugh, former Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has a background supporting the theories of fraudulent sex surveyor Alfred Kinsey. Researcher Judith Reisman has shown how Kinsey based his studies of "normal" sexual behavior on the activities of sexual abusers, many of whom were prison inmates. McHugh has defended the actions of Johns Hopkins' Sexual Disorders Clinic in concealing from police multiple incidents of child rape and fondling despite state laws requiring they be reported. His defense of cover-ups makes him a natural ally for bishops who enabled sex abuse by hiding criminal activities while moving abusers from parish to parish and diocese to diocese.
In addition to the lay oversight committee, the bishops have also established an Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse (AHCSA) with bishop members from each of the fourteen episcopal regions of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Among the members are notorious dissenter Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany and Bishop Joseph Galante of Dallas who concelebrated Mass with gay activist, Fr. Cliff Garner, to show his support. Garner was a participant in the vicious St. Sebastian's Angels website for homosexual priests which included a pornographic video clip on its home page along with lewd dialogue wishing for the death of Josef Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope John Paul II.
Unfortunately, the actions of the bishops to date give little evidence that they are serious about dealing with the scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church during the past year. Until the issue of dissent from Church doctrines, particularly with regard to sexual ethics, is dealt with directly, orthodox Catholics in the United States will continue to challenge the sincerity of the bishops and call them to account.
Catholic Media Coalition (CMC) is an ad hoc group of lay-run Catholic media faithful to the Holy Father and the Magisterium. The mission of CMC is to report truthfully about the Catholic Church and to defend, foster, and spread authentic Catholic faith and culture.
(Mrs.) Mary Ann Kreitzer, Les Femmes, Woodstock, VA www.lesfemmes-thetruth.org
(Mrs.) Laurie Balbach Taylor, Called to Conversion, Milford, Ohio, email@example.com
Cecilia H. Martin, The Catholic Advocate, Jacksonville, FL firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael F. Brennan, Coalition in Defense of Church Teaching, Rochester, New York email@example.com
Fred Paschall, Editor, The Defender, Berkley Springs, WV www.thedefender.org
Valerie Lubitz, President, Los Pequeños de Cristo, Albuquerque, NM
J. Hallett, Oakland, CA www.supportourdiocese.com
Betty L. Gudat, Defenders of the Magisterium, San Antonio, TX www.dotm.org
Timothy Ehlen, Chairman, St. Francis Xavier Historic Preservation Guild, Petoskey, Michigan
Jim Holman, Publisher San Francisco Faith, Los Angeles Mission, San Diego News Notes, La Cruz de California firstname.lastname@example.org