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We Appeal to the Holy Father to Save Terri's Life

To His Excellency, Most Reverend Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz,
Personal Secretary to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II 

Your Excellency, 
We of the Catholic Media Coalition beg you for the courtesy of communicating this letter to our Holy Father with all urgency.                              

November 2, 2004

His Holiness Pope John Paul II

Dear Holy Father:           

     With gratitude and love we address you as our dear spiritual father.  Thank you for your eloquent defense of our faith. We pray for your continued strength to carry the heavy burdens of your office. 

    We write today to beg you to intercede by name for one of your littlest lambs, Terri Schindler Schiavo, who is in danger of euthanasia.   Terri collapsed in 1990 under suspicious circumstances.  Brain-damaged from lack of oxygen, she does not communicate verbally, but is very responsive to her parents and often smiles and laughs. Terri receives nourishment from a simple feeding tube. She is not sick or dying. 

    Terri’s legal guardian, her husband Michael Schiavo, has denied her even the simplest rehabilitation for years.  Despite receiving a million dollars from a malpractice suit earmarked for Terri’s therapy, Michael has used the money instead to seek her death. Most has gone to pay legal fees to secure rulings which led to Terri’s feeding tube being removed twice. 

     Your Holiness, Terri continues to be in peril.  An emergency law passed by the Florida legislature last year and signed by Governor Jeb Bush, which forbids the deliberate killing of those with no advanced medical directives, was found unconstitutional recently by the Supreme Court of Florida.  A local judge, George Greer, also refused to hear arguments about Terri’s Catholic beliefs, beliefs you have so eloquently defended – that hydration and nutrition, even medically assisted, are ordinary means of care and may not be withheld to hasten death. 

     We beg for your help, Holy Father.  Although Judge Greer has extended a temporary stay while Terri’s parents challenge his ruling, Michael Schiavo retains guardianship. He continues to forbid Terri to leave her room or receive therapy. He limits visitors and, at one point, falsely accused her parents of injuring her.  The criminal justice system spent nearly two months investigating while Terri’s parents were denied visits.  The same system has never investigated injuries revealed by a 1991 bone scan that showed Terri could have been the victim of spousal abuse. Michael himself is in grave spiritual danger.  He lives with another woman who has born him two children, but despite this clear conflict of interest, he refuses to relinquish guardianship to Terri’s parents. 

     Please, Holy Father, you are the true voice of authority to the world.   We are on the threshold of a euthanasia holocaust against vulnerable persons like Terri.  We need a Solomon to unmask the false guardians who want to kill versus the true guardians who love and care. Your Holiness, please be Solomon for Terri.  Ask America to defend life as you did in Denver in 1993. We have been moved in the past by your eloquent pleas by name for prisoners on death row.  Terri has committed no crime.  She is an innocent lamb who depends on our help. Please plead for her by name.  Ask that her parents be named her guardians so she can get the therapy and care she needs. As long as Michael retains control over Terri, she is a prisoner of his malice and her life continues to be in danger. When you speak for Terri you will be speaking for many who lie in beds at home or in nursing facilities trusting in the unconditional love of their caregivers.   

    As members of the Catholic Media Coalition, each of us is working to defend and restore the faith in our local dioceses through apologetics and catechesis.  We are also dedicated to defending life at all stages from conception to natural death. 

     Thank you, Holy Father, for your prayers and sacrifice.  We recall with great affection your visits to the United States when we chanted, “John Paul II, we love you!”  Please help Terri.

                                                                                      Sincerely in Christ,
Mary Ann Kreitzer, President
Catholic Media Coalition

Anne Esposito
CMC Project Coordinator
1481 Carr Circle
Palm Bay, FL 32905

Karl Maurer, Vice President
Catholic Citizens of Illinois
122 Calendar Court
LaGrange, IL 60523

Michael & Donna Marek
Ogdensburg, NY                              

Mr. & Mrs. Geoffrey H. Parker
(Katherine A. Parker)
Brothers and Sisters at the Cross
Birmingham, AL 

J. Hallett 

Oakland, CA

Edmundo Vargas
President, Defenders of the Magisterium
San Antonio, Texas

Orlando Truth
P.O. Box 495
Tangerine, FL 32777

Mike Hargadon
Baltimore Truth
3618 Granite Rd
Woodstock, MD 21163

James S. Fritz
Defenders of the Faith, Inc.
PO Box 1000
Berkeley Springs WV 25411

Jeanine Notter
Diocese of New Hampshire

Donna Steichen
author and speaker
Ojai, CA

Valerie Lubitz, President
Los Pequenos de Cristo
P.O. Box 16117
Albuquerque, NM 87191-6117

Cecilia H. Martin, Ed.
The Catholic Advocate
Diocese of St. Augustine, FL

Jack Ames
Defend Life
Baltimore, MD

Alice Ann Grayson
Veil of Innocence

Catasauqua, PA