Joe spoke at a pro-life conference in Dublin, Ireland, this past weekend, and he and his wife, Ann Scheidler will return to the U.S. at the end of this week. Please offer prayers on their behalf for safe travel.
This Friday, March 31, is the one-year anniversary of Terri Schiavo’s death by euthanasia. Yesterday, at an internationally broadcast religious service, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, who ministered to Terri and her family during her final days on earth, addresses an open letter to Terri’s recently remarried husband, Michael.
In his letter, the tireless Father Pavone writes:
A year ago this week, I stood by the bedside of the woman you married and promised to love in good times and bad, in sickness and health. She was enduring a very bad time, because she hadn’t been given food or drink in nearly two weeks. And you were the one insisting that she continue to be deprived of food and water, right up to her death. I watched her face for hours on end, right up to moments before her last breath. Her death was not peaceful, nor was it beautiful. If you saw her too, and noticed what her eyes were doing, you know that to describe her last agony as peaceful is a lie.
Father Pavone goes on to say:
Your actions offend us. Not only have you killed Terri and deeply wounded her family, but you have disgraced our nation, betrayed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and undermined the principles that hold us together as a civilized society. You have offended those who struggle on a daily basis to care for loved ones who are dying, and who sometimes have to make the very legitimate decision to discontinue futile treatment. You have offended them by trying to confuse Terri’s circumstances with theirs. Terri’s case was not one of judging treatment to be worthless which is sometimes the case; rather, it was about judging a life to be worthless, which is never the case.
Father Pavone’s letter is a masterpiece of forthright pro-life conviction. Pray that we may have more priests like him.
Who’s Afraid of a Pro-Life Message?
Normally, a bench where you sit while you’re waiting to catch a bus isn’t very newsworthy. In Rockford, IL, however, one bench in particular has attracted national attention because its pro-life messages have been vandalized no fewer than ten times in the last three weeks.
Apparently, someone in Rockford doesn’t believe women deserve better than abortion, for on one occasion, the message “Women deserve better than abortion” was scratched off. Another time, a picture of a baby attached to an ad was stolen. You know, because baby pictures are too offensive to be displayed in public.
Rockford pro-lifer Kevin Rilott, speaking for the group that is paying for the ads on the bench, commented on the vandalism, “It’s just affecting someone and made them very angry,” he said. “We know it’s a controversial issue, but if we can’t peacefully express our opinion, it’s not what our county is about.”
The group has contracted to have the pro-life ads on the bench through November and has vowed to keep putting up new slogans when older ones are defaced. Kudos to Kevin and his fellow Rockford pro-lifers for their resilience.
As we have for the past three years, we will be visiting Rockford again on our annual Face the Truth Tour this coming July. It will be interesting to see if the bench-defacing pro-aborts will show up to counter-demonstrate.
Rome, We Have a Problem
The Cardinal Newman Society has recently shed some additional light on the ongoing scandal of Catholic colleges including links and referrals to various pro-abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. CNS has called on 11 institutions to remove such links from their websites.
The eleven schools are: Boston College, DePaul University, Dominican University of California, Georgetown University, Loyola University of Chicago, Loyola University of New Orleans, Our Lady of the Lake University, Santa Clara University, Seton Hall University, the University of Detroit Mercy, and the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Considering the former greatness of the Society of Jesus, I find it especially disappointing that schools run by their order account for over half of those on CNS’s list—my alma mater, Loyola Chicago, being one of them. As I noted in the GFL Blog last week, the hanged, drawn, and quartered body of the great Jesuit Saint Edmund Campion must be turning over in his grave at what so many universities run by the Sons of Ignatius have become.
The scandal of abortion-friendly Catholic universities remains an enormous problem, and improvement in this area will likely take a long, long time. If the universities don’t start to reform themselves—and I’m guessing most of them won’t—individual bishops will eventually have to start telling them that they can no longer call themselves Catholic unless they shape up.