Terri "deserved better"

by JHS, Esq.

George Felos held yet another press conference this morning. I pray it was his last, but fear that won’t be the case.

George Felos had the gall to stand before the cameras and bash Father Frank Pavone. Felos’ statements were repugnant, repulsive, outrageously offensive, shockingly callous, and morally indefensible. Time — and my blood pressure — only allow me to comment on some of his statements:

Regarding Father Frank’s comments this morning, Felos said, in relevant part:

  • “It was extremely disquieting to hear the priest issue venom . . . we thought it was highly inappropriate under the circumstances . . . Instead of words of reconciliation, compassion or healing which you might expect from a spiritual person, we had a platform for ideological agenda. We found that disquieting . . . [Father Frank Pavone used the pulpit to be an] ideologue rather than using the pulpit for some healing . . . [Father Frank Pavone’s comments were] not constructive in leading to reconciliation that might have made [it] possible [for Terri’s family and Michael Schiavo to have been together at her bedside when she died.]”

Mr. Felos must have selective hearing. I heard Father Frank talk about the numerous times he tried to reach out to Michael Schiavo, but his overtures were rebuffed. I heard Father Frank say that Terri’s family remains interested in reconciliation and healing, and he remains willing to facilitate that.

I’m not a Biblical scholar, but I do remember that Jesus went into the temple and, upon finding that it was being defiled by “money changers,” got really, really angry. He threw out those persons he believed were not respecting his Father’s House.

Jesus preached love, compassion, forgiveness, and reconciliation, but he did not stand idly by when he saw injustice. He was not afraid to and did speak out. After all, he said that his presence on earth would pit brother against brother, that he brought a sword. He stood up to the Pharisees, defied social norms in favor of ministering and caring for the lowly and outcast (like the tax collector), and asserted the inherent rights of women and children, even though they were deemed by society to be mere property. Jesus was the first true feminist — after all, he told men to love their wives as he loved his church and then laid down his own life in demonstrating of that love.

So I commend Father Frank for speaking out on behalf of Terri, her family, and against her murder. Father Frank expressed his beliefs, as they have been developed through his education and experience as a Roman Catholic priest. He did so in a loving, respectful manner, but with sincere conviction. Our churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques need more fearless spiritual leaders like Father Frank, in my opinion.

Mr. Felos did say something near the end of his press conference with which I totally agree, however:

  • “Terri Schiavo had a right to die with dignity and die with peace. With a spirit of love and not acrimony. She deserved better.”

Terri did deserve much better than the “judicial homicide” that she was dealt. Her death was not a dignified one and it was not delivered in a spirit of “love.” It was murder. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Click here to read about Father Frank Pavone and his leadership of Priests for Life.

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