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Saturday, March 26, 2005
Tearing up the Constitutions to Save Terri

A complaint that began when "Terri's Law" (from last year) that our attempts to save Terri from Michael was that we were tearing up the Constitutions (US and FL). My own reply is "So what, if they allow an innocent to die, they deserve to be torn up."

This is also discussed as "form over substance". This is from the latest Andrew McCarthy article in NRO:

This is the worst kind of "form over substance" claim. A state court has issued an order that has no other purpose and effect than to kill Terri Schiavo. Without that order, she would be living unthreatened and being sustained today. Because of it, she is being detained, those who would help her are being kept at bay by the police, and she is being slowly killed. Functionally, this situation is no different from the entry of a judgment in a capital case ordering an execution.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The rule of law meets the rule of guns

This story is going to be worth a footnote in the textbooks on executive authority vs. judicial authority. The local police according to the Miami Herald were prepared to resist with armed force, a legal order from the governor taking Terri Schindler into custody as a abused disabled adult.

Police 'showdown' over Schiavo averted : Miami Herald

Hours after a judge ordered that Terri Schiavo was not to be removed from her hospice, a team of state agents were en route to seize her and have her feeding tube reinserted - but they stopped short when local police told them they would enforce the judge's order, The Miami Herald has learned.

Agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement told police in Pinellas Park, the small town where Schiavo lies at Hospice Woodside, on Thursday that they were on the way to take her to a hospital to resume her feeding.

For a brief period, local police, who have officers at the hospice to keep protesters out, prepared for what sources called "a showdown."

In the end, the squad from the FDLE and the Department of Children & Families backed down, apparently concerned about confronting local police outside the hospice.

A judge lacks the authority to tell the police to do anything. It's part of the separation of powers. I'm going to quess that after this is over, there will be a investigation. It's one thing for a high school student to read a defective history text and come away with the impression that a judge's word is law, it's another for the police to draw their guns based on that mistaken belief.

See also blogsforterri.com

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Last appeal turned down : AP
A state judge on Saturday rejected another attempt by Terri Schiavo's parents to have her feeding tube reconnected, rejecting what the couple's lawyer described as their last chance to keep their severely brain-damaged daughter alive.

Pinellas Circuit Judge George Greer denied a motion filed Friday in which Bob and Mary Schindler claimed their daughter tried to say "I want to live" just before her tube was removed, saying "AHHHHH" and "WAAAAAAA" when asked to repeat the phrase.

Doctors have said Schiavo's past utterances were involuntary moans consistent with someone in a vegetative state.

The Schindlers ended their federal appeals but are still holding out hope for an unlikely intervention by Gov. Jeb Bush, who has said he has done everything in his power to take custody of Schiavo.

The last sentence contradicts what I heard on WABC, namely that Schindlers believe that all legal options to restore the feeding tube have ended.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Culture of Death Watch:


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:56 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Lies Keep Coming

Talkradio: "...life support...", "...heroic measures...","...extraordinary means..."

Reply: She can breathe on her own. She can't eat on her own - maybe she can but no one has attempted to see if she can.

Hypotheticals: "...but what if she had a living will...", "...but what if she understood what her Church taught..."

Reply: We have to deal with the fact at 25 she wasn't anticipating her own death.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:43 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, March 25, 2005
'No Substantial Likelihood of Success': The Curse Pronounced by a New God : Mike Thompson
In rejecting Mr. and Mrs. Robert Schindler's appeal to save their braindamaged daughter, Terri Schiavo, from certain death by court-ordered dehydration and starvation, U.S. District Judge James Whittemore wrapped himself in his black robe and announced imperiously from his court in Tampa, Florida, that he had denied their petition, because it had no "substantial likelihood of success."

We should rejoice that Honorable Judge Whittemore was not in the position, prior to his appointment by President Bill Clinton, to share with the world his frightening omniscience. Had the godlike federal jurist been around for a few eons, think of all the other mere humans who would have been compelled to accept "The Whittemore Curse" and curb their thirst and hunger for victory and survival.

Had these frustrated souls been instructed that their future was so dire, history never would have recorded the following miracles of human triumph:

(the article continues with a list, the last item)

With no substantial likelihood of success, Jesus, a young carpenter in Nazareth who began preaching at age 30, never would have begun His ultimate journey to reveal himself as the Son of God and God Incarnate.
May the one and only God bless Terri Schiavo as she slips slowly into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, thanks to a new god before whom she was not allowed to communicate, a new god before whom she never had to bow--thank God.

There will be One who judges these judges.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Experts Say Ending Feeding Can Lead to a Gentle Death : New York Times (03/20)
To many people, death by removing a feeding tube brings to mind the agony of starvation. But medical experts say that the process of dying that begins when food and fluids cease is relatively straightforward, and can cause little discomfort.

"From the data that is available, it is not a horrific thing at all," said Dr. Linda Emanuel, the founder of the Education for Physicians in End-of-Life Care Project at Northwestern University.

Fr. Rutler commented on this: I'll believe it when I see a New York Times editor try it.

(the article continues...) In fact, declining food and water is a common way that terminally ill patients end their lives, because it is less painful than violent suicide and requires no help from doctors.

Terri Schiavo, who is in a persistent vegetative state, is "probably not experiencing anything at all subjectively," said Dr. Emanuel, and so the question of discomfort, from a scientific point of view, is not in dispute.

Patients who are terminally ill and conscious and refuse food and drink at the end of life say that they do not generally experience pangs of hunger, since their bodies do not need much food. But they can suffer from dry mouth and other symptoms of dehydration that can be treated effectively.

Once food and water stop, death usually comes in about two weeks, and is caused by effects of dehydration, not the loss of nutrition, said Dr. Sean Morrison, a professor of geriatrics and palliative care at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. "They generally slip into a peaceful coma," he said. "It's very quiet, it's very dignified - it's very gentle."

The process of dying begins in the kidneys, which filter toxins from the body's fluids. Without new fluids entering the body, the kidneys produce less and less urine, and the urine becomes darker and more concentrated until production stops entirely.

Toxins build up in the body, and the delicate balance of chemicals like potassium, sodium and calcium is disrupted, said Deborah Volker, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Texas who has written extensively on end-of-life issues.

This electrolyte imbalance disrupts the electrical system that triggers the action of muscles, including the heart, and eventually the heart stops beating.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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America is starving

Fr. Rutler began "America is starving. The cars and trucks continue to run up and down Park Ave. but we are starving." The Seven Words of Christ from the Cross in an overflowing Church of Our Savior -- three hours that seemed like three minutes.

The themes that I recall:

  • The need for conversion of ourselves, our neighbors, and our culture.
  • The hope we have in God for final justice, final judgment, final reward.
  • Jesus bled for us and Jesus wept for us. He took on the sin of the first man and woman, each of us in the church now, and the last man and woman alive at the time of the Second Coming. He has bled and wept for them and us.
  • The need to confess sins. Each confessed sin becomes grace by our baptism.
  • Jesus did not suffer and die to end our suffering and death but to give it meaning.
  • Jesus spoke with no "qualifying clauses" He divides the world into those going to heaven and those going to hell.

And because it was Fr. Rutler it was full of references to Christians and non-Christians of history: Bl. Fr. Damien of Molokai, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edward John Smith (Captain, RMS Titanic), Friedrich Nietzsche, Mother Teresa, the Holy Father, and St Paul and others too many to recall.

We are blessed in New York City to have many fine priests.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Good Friday

Started with the Divine Mercy Novena.

Off to the Church of Our Saviour where Fr. Rutler will be preach on the Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross I will blog on that later.

Pray for Terri, her family, and this country which has knowingly, constitutionally killed an innocent human being.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:55 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, March 24, 2005
Culture of Death Watch: Keep your eyes and ears open.

Like that caller to Laura Ingraham today, I heard another one during the 10 pm television news.

What purpose does her life have? C'mon.
God help you girl, when you are disabled and inconvenient to someone with access to the courts...

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Florida Supreme Court says let Terri starve : AP
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday refused to overturn a judge's order blocking the state from taking temporary custody of Terri Schiavo, another setback in her parents' battle to keep their brain-damaged daughter alive.

I think that was the last legal opening for Jeb Bush.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Jeb Bush's options

Except for pleading to the Florida Supreme Court to let DCF do its job, I can't see how he can reverse Greer's restraining order on him.

Bush would not only be exposed to impeachment, but if Florida law was described correctly, risks arrest.

I don't understand why Bush tipped his hand at the press conference on Wednesday. Who knows if Bush just did what he said he had the authority to do where things would be now?

Who knows what will happen if the local police on the scene get one phone call from Greer and another from Bush what will happen?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Two worldviews on Terri

One worldview, the view that sees "good" in the Supreme Courts decision not to provide a TRO, is that the law was followed. If we are to be under the "rule of law", then we must accept that for special cases like Terri we can't tear up the laws and the constitution.

This worldview is tragically wrong and immoral. This worldview allows the horrors of the French Revolution, Communism, Nazism, etc. to start and to thrive.

If Terri were suffering a penalty imposed under criminal law, the governor could commute the penalty.

What's going on here is the law of unintended consequences:

(1) "substituted judgment" as guardian, Michael makes all the decisions regarding Terri's medical care and that includes a right to refuse medical care.

(2) "medical care" were redefined under Florida law to include food and water.

(3) Greer accepts that Terri's wishes were to die of thirst should she end up like Karen Quinlan.

(4) Greer accepts that Terri has wound up like Karen Quinlan and all precedents which applied in that case apply to Terri.

It's not one lie but a network of things which are half-true.

To follow this is to make a idol of law.

The other worldview, puts Terri's right to life first.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Kill Terri and the Pope too

A self-identified Catholic called the Laura Ingraham show and compared the good outcome of Terri's killing with the Pope's need to die and move on.

It's odd that's he's hanging on so long.

Laura was outraged and hung up on the caller.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Greer Dictates : Town Hall/CNS
"DCF is hereby restrained from taking possession of Theresa Marie Schiavo or removing her from Hospice Woodside, administer nutrition or hydration artificially or otherwise interfere with this court's final judgment," Greer said.

How is this prior restraint on the executive branch legal if there's another law the governor seeks to enforce where the matter is not before Greer?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Reading about Terri in other blogs This is updated every six hours.

The Blogs of St. Blog's Parish which discuss Terri Schiavo as of Wed Mar 23 18:02:45 2005
Blog Name & Link Comment Days Since Update Score
extremeCatholic Patrick Sweeney's weblog of the Catholic faith and media, politics, technology and the other stuff he's interested in. 0 18
Adjutorium nostrum + in nomine Domini One Holy Catholic, and Apostolic . . .{;}"O taste and see that the LORD is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!" (Ps34:8 RSV) 0 11
DaveTown The thoughts, musings, opinions and bovine scatology of me, Dave Walker.{;}{;} 5 10
Ipsissima Verba Yet another Catholic blog, especially interested in liturgical orthodoxy and cultural issues. 0 10
Catholic Fire Catholic pro-life news and views; poetry, prayers, biographies of the saints 0 10
me autem minui He must increase, I must decrease. 0 10
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam This blog is primarily dedicated to those things truly Catholic, in union with Christ and His Church and in union with the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of St. Peter. 12 10
Mystery Achievement Catholic humanism at the service of the war for civilization by an American Catholic living in Europe. 0 10
An Aid to Memory: Blogging With Tradition This is a blog of a twenty-something convert to the Catholic Church. The title comes from the writings of St. Vincent of Lerins. The title "An Aid to Memory" just means applying the ancient and Catholic faith to postmodern issues and concerns. 0 10
Blogodoxy Cultural, Political, Ecclesiastical, and Familial Life in the Ancient Christian Faith - Blogged. 2 10
Jumping Without A Chute A blog written by a soon to be dad. Discussions range from politics, religion, and world events to the more personal issues of faith and living a good life. 1 10
Matthew 12:37 Matthew 12:37 was created to give people as much information and insight as possible about the Catholic faith, the Pro-Life movement, and philosophy through the eyes of a seminarian preparing for the Roman Catholic Priesthood. 1 10
Ales Rarus Enter the demented mind of Funky Dung and find wacky news stories, political commentary, and apologetic Catholicism. 0 10
The Catholic Curmudgeon Americans are committed constitutionally to a pluralistic society with freedom for all. This is our history and legacy and reason for being. Of course, this requires citizens to take responsibility as well. Mr. Bush says we are either ?for him or against him,? and if we are against him, we are not patriots. I beg to differ with you sir. I am against you and I am a Patriot. I question whether you truly are, however. Where are the investigative reporters, the law enforcement officers, the military heroes, the Congress-persons, who will stand up to the tragedy of the Bush administration? Those who have read the book \"1984\" by George Orwell are familiar with the term \"Orwellian,\" where black becomes white. The term \"double-speak\" can be applied to the public proclamations of the Bush administration compared to their actual actions and plans. We really need some real Christians instead of Machiavellian serpents to stand up and tell the Bush administration that this is wrong and we resent his using Christianity to sell his programs and purposes.. In this web log, I attempt to do my part to bring to light some of the information which is not being reported by the mainstream press, and also to include some ?food for thought? for Christians as well. As a Catholic Christian, I am duty-bound to try to take responsibility both for our political and spiritual life. One cannot be divorced from the other. I hope that you will feel free to comment as much as you like, as without discussion, things I never thought of or never knew will never come to light. I hope this can be a place for honest debate, not mudslinging or personal attacks, except perhaps for those who have clearly purposed in their heart to do evil for power and greed\'s sake ? something which is of Satan himself, and of which Jesus and His People will have no part. ?By their fruits you shall know them.? 8 10
It's the promise of life A source for Catholic/pro-life news and information compiled by a pro-life activist and writer based in Washington. 0 10
Catholic Analysis I offer serious essays and book reviews on Catholic issues. I am already listed in Gerald Serafin's St. Blog's Parish Directory. I'm not too sure how a web ring works so any details you can give me would help. 0 10
Spiritus et Sponsa Spiritus et Sponsa chronicles the continual journey of a 20-year-old layman with same-sex attractions. 0 10
Times Against Humanity The times they are a changing . . . and not for the better. 3 10
Catholics in the Public Square Ongoing commentary on Catholic figures in public service on both sides of the political spectrum (left and right), calling them to be accountable to the "non-negotiable" moral teachings of their faith. From the editors of the blog "CatholicKerryWatch". 0 10
Times Against Humanity A Catholic critque of contemporary society. 3 10
Summa Mamas Summa Mamas is the site of three moms, one organic, one fun, and one OLD, who all attend the same Catholic parish. It's our random thoughts on life, babies, books, the spiritual life and Catholicism. 0 10
Flos Carmeli no description 0 10
Life at the Frontier Thoughts on Faith, Life, Liberty and the Final Frontier, and how they all tie together beyond the conventional \'wisdom\'. 0 10
Once upon a midnight dreary... The Journal of an American, Catholic Republican written by Jeffrey Burden 1 10
Stand Up and Be Catholic A blog to designed to assist those in living the Catholic faith in their everyday lives and to evangelize the faith. 0 10
Cnytr A UDallas 19-year-old Catholic college student randomly muses on life, faith, and ROTC. 0 10
Running From The Thought Police The blog of an undergraduate biology student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Discusses local politics, university events, religion, dorm life, and whatever else strikes the author\'s fancy. 0 10
BritCat In The USA A British Catholic in the USA's attempt to steer a path between the rhetoric and fearmongering in order to follow the teachings of the Pope and Bishops on political issues. 0 10
IrishLaw Politics, culture, Catholicism, and law, from a Domer at Ohio State 1 10
Southern Appeal The random musing of a Southern Catholic Federalist and his co-conspirators 0 10
John Gibson's Expagan Blog John Gibson was involved in the Occult for several years and then was converted to Christ. He is now a Catholic and has a website and a blog (how unusual) 8 10
Living Catholicism Personal thoughts and practical advice on living out your Catholic faith in a busy world. 1 10
Hi! I'm Gordon Zaft, why isn't everyone? My personal musings on God, the Church, computers, music, and whatever else comes to mind. 0 10
Against the Grain Occasional notes of a (mostly) philosophical or theological nature by the web-manager for the Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club [www.ratzingerfanclub.com]{;} 0 10
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The Black Republican Though mainly a politically-themed blog trying to concentrate on issues of race and prejudice, and subtitled, "A defense of the principles upon which the Republican Party was founded," The Black Republican was founded by an earnest Catholic who often repudiates the original anti-Catholic bias that was prominent during the early years of the Republican Party. As a result, blog entries sometimes describe the nature of the Catholic faith and how it affects and is affected by the other issues discussed. 1 10
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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Starved for Justice : Ann Coulter
If Gov. Jeb Bush doesn't say something similar to the Florida courts that have ordered Terri Schiavo to die, he'll be the second Republican governor disgraced by the illiterate ramblings of a state judiciary. Gov. Mitt Romney will never recover from his acquiescence to the Massachusetts Supreme Court's miraculous discovery of a right to gay marriage. Neither will Gov. Bush if he doesn't stop the torture and murder of Terri Schiavo.

I don't think Jeb Bush can wait for Anthony Kennedy to act, and in spite of the courageous dissent written by Charles Wilson, it is very unlikely that the Supreme Court will provide a TRO.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Will Jeb Bush act to save Terri

DCF may intervene : Orlando Sentinel

Gov. Jeb Bush said today his social services agency may step in to have her feeding tube reinstated.

In an extraordinary move, Bush said the Department of Children and Families has filed a legal motion alleging "30 detailed allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation" that have occurred during Schiavo's stay at a Pinellas Park hospice.

"I'm doing everything within my power to make sure that Terri is afforded at least the same rights that criminals convicted of heinous crimes take for granted," Bush said.

The governor may decide that he has statutory authority to act and preserve Terri at least until the DCF investigation in completed.

If the Supreme Court fails to accept the mandated de novo review, I expect a heavy political cost to be paid by the judicial branch.

I hope that even now as I'm writing this the appropriate legal authority is being drawn up to take custody of Terri.

Once Terri is compentently and independently examined and evaluated, I'm sure it will trigger a cascade of events to remove Michael's guardianship.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Florida Senate Rejects Written Requirement for Withdrawal of Food and Water
TALLAHASSEE Fla. — The Florida Senate rejected a bill Wednesday to keep Terri Schiavo alive as the brain-damaged woman's parents were running out of options to have her feeding tube reinserted.

The bill would have prohibited patients like Schiavo from being denied food and water if they didn't express their wishes in writing. The 21-18 vote came five days after her feeding tube was removed under court order. Doctors have said she could survive one to two weeks without the tube, which was pulled Friday.

Several senators said prior to the vote that they shouldn't be getting involved.

"This bill doesn't belong here. This decision belongs between the courts and the family." said Sen. Dennis Jones, a Republican.

The Legislature tried once before to protect Schiavo, in 2003 voting to reinsert Terri Schiavo's feeding tube after six days. But "Terri's Law" was later struck down as unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court, which said it violated Schiavo's right to privacy and delegated legislative power to the governor.

The Senate minority leader, Sen. Les Miller, said the new bill faced a similar fate.

"By the time the ink is dry on the governor's signature, it will be declared unconstitutional, just like it was before," said Miller, a Democrat, before the vote. "So I don't see anything or any language that can persuade my vote."

Abandoning their constitutional duty to the courts -- another version of "the judiciary has spoken".

All 21 who voted for the defeat of this bill need to be voted out of office.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:12 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A thought just came to me

We are led to believe that from 1990 when Terri's brain was damaged, Michael knew, and in fact, had known her wishes.

What's happened to Terri since 1990? Basically nothing except neglect.

What's happened to Michael since 1990? A great deal. His change from seeking to keep Terri alive, to seeking to kill Terri took place as the circumstances in his life changed.

His standing as guardian is poisoned by conflicts of interest. I cannot see how courts failed to see this.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Some background items on the Bishop Brom statement of regret on the application of Canon 1184 denying a funeral to John McCusker.

This item is from the San Diego Union discussion forum.

The CATHOLIC CHURCH SOILS ITSELF Brom, the Bishop of the Catholic diocese of San Diego has appointed himself as the local proxy for God.

For non-Catholics, this is of limited interest, I can understand.

But, I, as a cradle-Catholic, must say that Brom's actions refusing to allow any Catholic parish from burying a Gay Nightclub owner are unprecedented.

It is a public statement by Brom stating that he, Brom, judges the person to be worthy to be damned to HELL, and separated from his church. When did GOD make Brom GOD?

Given the explosion of scandal within the Church's Priesthood over the last several years, Brom's action is hypocritical, and totally UN-CHRISTAIN, UN-CATHOLIC, INHUMANE. .

Using Brom's standard there probably were more than several popes in centuries past, who should have been denied a Church Funeral and Burial.

Organized crime Mob bosses and murderers from time immemorial, have been given grandiose send-offs, attended by hundreds of "the Faithful" AND--often the Funeral Mass was officiated at, by a high mucky-muck Cardinal ARCHBISHOP in the Cathedrals of America's biggest cities.

I offer no judgment on the deceased individual's life activities. Neither should have BROM.


This is the often repeated "the Church has lost all its moral authority because of the sexual abuse scandal" pattern.

Obviously, the San Diego Union is well-informed and passed on this planned event in time for the March 21 edition of the paper.

Members of San Diego's gay and lesbian community will meet tonight to discuss how to respond to Bishop Robert Brom's decision not to allow Catholic funeral ...

This item disappeared from The Diocese of San Diego web site but is still in the Google cache

Date: March 18, 2005

From: Rodrigo Valdivia, Chancellor

Re: Statement on McCusker Funeral

We have become aware that an organized campaign is distorting the action of the Bishop in order to advance its agenda and to silence those whose moral convictions are at variance with its own.

Once again, in order to avoid public scandal, John McCusker was denied a funeral in a Catholic church or chapel in the Diocese of San Diego because of his business activities which were contrary to Sacred Scripture and the moral teaching of the Church. The Bishop acted as he did so that the faithful would not be misled and erroneously conclude that the Church condones activities such as those included in the businesses of Mr. McCusker.

It is a mistake to interpret this pastoral action as a condemnation of Mr. McCusker. He should be in our prayers for the blessing of eternal life.(trucated by the Google cache)

Note the text we have been reading is not an official press release of the diocese. As far as I know, the full text is not no any web site.

In a statement released by McCusker's family Monday night, the bishop was quoted as saying: "I deeply regret that denying a Catholic funeral for John McCusker at the Immaculata has resulted in his unjust condemnation, and I apologize to the family for the anguish this has caused them."

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:03 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Timeline for the Bishop Brom controversy and more comment from me

March 13 John McCusker, 31 dies.

March 18 Diocese of San Diego denies him a Catholic funeral under Canon 1184 as a "manifest sinner".

March 18 extremeCatholic blogs it.

March 18 The gay and lesbian community communicates, organizes and demands apology

March 21 Bishop Brom issues a statement of regret and apology.

March 21 Amy Welborn blogs it.

When I first went into the comment boxes there I wasn't critical of the bishop. Frankly, I was sympathetic because he appeared to have been naive of what the reaction would be in the gay and lesbian community to this equation of their beloved nightclub owner with the likes of John Gotti who also was denied a Catholic funeral.

Some have characterized it as a threat of blackmail. The implication that some in the gay and lesbian have knowledge of homosexual activities of clergy and are using that knowledge to leverage specific actions by Bishop Brom. This is not without precedent. Archbishop Weakland, Bishops O'Connell, Ziemann, and Dupre all admitted to being blackmailed in order to prevent the release of damaging information of the homosexual activities of themselves or others. I don't have reason to believe that Bishop Brom is being blackmailed in this way.

What I believe is that Bishop Brom succumbed to pressure to issue a personal statement of regret and a third-party apology for "condemnation".

Whether this "condemnation" was real or imagined, I don't know. The bishop didn't name names or indicate he knew names. The "straw man" -- the man that the bishop apologizes for -- has yet to surface.

I wrote

... I think the bishop is saying that it's not in conflict with scripture and the moral teachings of the Church to operate a gay nightclub. He was wrong about that, and he's apologizing. But I could be wrong about that, and if I am, I will apologize to the bishop.
This is basically what the new critics of Bishop Brom are criticizing him for -- they argue that having made up his mind, he needs to stick to his guns.
This is how I unpack the statement:

(1) The bishop admits to denying the funeral Mass to McCusker which he now regrets.

(2) Persons or persons unknown to Bishop Brom, or known to the bishop but unnamed by him condemned McCusker.

(3) The bishop apologizes for their condemnation without accepting the responsibility for it.

This statement is quite artfully written. It doesn't flatly contradict the original analysis on the application of Canon 1184. It doesn't deny the sinfulness of the deceased. It doesn't apologize to the community. It's a limited statement to the family avoiding any admission of wrong-doing on the part of the bishop. It's like having your cake and eating it too. Bill Cork and Mark Shea admire that.

The direction of the discussion in Amy's blog shifted when Mark Shea made a sarcastic argument in support of Bishop Brom. He stated that the bishop acted charitably.

As true and self-evident that is, the more important motivation is that he correctly anticipated a pink wave of hatred for that that had been building in the 48 hours following the announcement of his decision. This became a big topic on discussion boards on March 18/19. I think in part because a lot of people who tragically spend too much time discussing current events were online discussing the Schiavo case.

You have to pick the hill you die on. Gay and lesbians in massive protests around the Catholic institutions of San Diego over this funeral would be the wrong fight at the wrong time (i.e. Holy Week). I admire the zeal, communication, organization, and unity of purpose of the gay and lesbian community to influence Bishop Brom.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Schiavo's Parents Appeal After Judge Declines to Order Feeding : New York Times
Mrs. Schindler, pausing briefly as she arrived at the hospice here in the late afternoon, said: "Please, senators, for the love of God, I'm begging you, don't let my daughter die of thirst."

But State Senator Tom Lee, Republican of Brandon and the president of the Senate, said he regretted that some of his members were under attack by "people who want to demonize and vilify them," and he would not pressure them to change their votes.

"I think with every day that passes," he said, "there is less likelihood there is going to be a legislative or legal remedy that can save Terri Schiavo's life."

It would be wrong if they were not demons, but they are doing the devil's work if they allow Michael Schiavo to kill Terri.

What's the point of all this government and law if it can't protect Terri Schiavo?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:53 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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No action at the Federal Court of Appeals

The best thing I've read tonight was Andrew McCarthy's (NRO) discussion of the Federal District Court decision denying a TRO on the restoration of the feeding tube.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Rush loses the debate with the caller

A really well-prepared kill-Terri advocate called, and Rush was flustered.

I wanted to scream at Rush -- do let the caller rope-a-dope you.

The rope a dope is that when the caller went to the specifics of the Schiavo case, he moved to the general case for all families -- when Rush moved to the general case, he moved to the specifics of the Schivao case.

The lack of a written, witnessed, dated living will should be evidence of doubt regarding her intentions. This applies specifically to the Schivao case and to all families facing a similiar situation.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A real review de novo is going to take some time.

To preserve Schindler's rights, there has to be a TRO to prevent Terri from harm or even death. The fact that James Whittemore did not order the nutrition and hyradation resumed is a very bad sign.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:30 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, March 21, 2005
Summary of Letter from the Attorney for Terri Schiavo's Parents [Robert Destro] to Chairman Sensenbrenner Regarding Legislation Congress Is Considering

[comments in square brackets are mine]

(1) The guardianship court [Judge George Greer] compromised his judicial independence when the he appointed himself, rather than an independent guardian ad litem, to serve as Terri Schiavo's health care proxy.

(2) The Florida courts permitted Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo and his attorney to represent Terri's interests notwithstanding the Florida courts own admission that his interests were adverse to hers.

(3) The Florida courts did not appoint a guardian ad litem for Terri, nor did they provide her with counsel to argue and protect her interests. The result was a situation in which Terri herself had no assistance of counsel in a case in which her life hangs in the balance. [so Michael's attorneys were representing Michael's interests and not Terri's]

(4) The way the Florida courts applied the state's law and constitution to incapacitated persons with severe cognitive disabilities violated her rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteen Amendment. After Terri's case, the only persons in the State of Florida who are not entitled to an independent judiciary and effective representation are incapacitated persons who cannot speak for themselves.

(5) The state court order under which Terri's nutrition and hydration is currently being withheld was entered after a proceeding tainted by “structural defect” that call the integrity of the entire fact finding process in to question. As a result, we simply do not know either “what Terri wants” or what her current medical condition actually is.

(6) The state court order violates the standards set out in both federal and state precedents that recognize the right to self-determination in health-care decisionmaking. Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, 497 U.S. 261, 280 (1990) and Guardianship of Browning, 568 So.2d 4, 12 (Fla.1990). Both of those cases recognize that accuracy, not finality, is essential in any case where a guardian has asked for a judicial decree authorizing the death of the a person with a severe disability such as Terri's. [more knowledge of Terri's medical status and not more haste is called for]

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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More lies on Terri (Abstract and Distract)

  • It's all about her choice (her wishes, her decision, etc.)
  • It's all about Republicans kowtowing to the Religious Right invading the privacy of this family.
  • It's all about states rights over federal coup d'etat
  • A court determined that Michael was truthful in his recall of Terri's wishes.
  • Michael disclosed Terri's wishes in 1990.
  • A court determined that Terri is in a persistent vegatative state.
  • In the [six] years before he sought to remove her feeding tube, Michael was agressive in seeking to rehabilitate Terri.
  • Michael and the Schindlers has equal and suspect financial motives with respect to the insurance settlement.
  • A feeding tube is artificial
  • Michael's relationship with Jodi Centonze is irrelevant and does not create a conflict of interest.
  • The judiciary has spoken

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Mark Levin on NRO on Terri's Right to Life
The right to live, or more specifically, the right not to be killed, is a fundamental right. And it's a right recognized in our founding document, the Declaration of Independence. So ingrained in our society is the notion of life, that the 8th Amendment prohibits "cruel and usual punishment" (even short of death) and the 14th Amendment prohibits states from depriving any person of life without due process of law. This has nothing to do with federalism, unless you ignore the 8th and 14th Amendments. (Unlike the Left, that contorts the 14th Amendment, I'm recognizing its literal meaning.)

What really offends the Left is Congress asserting its constitutional power over a court, and not in service to the liberal agenda. Article III specifically empowers Congress to determine the jurisdiction of the federal courts, which is all it did today. It authorized a federal court to determine whether Terri Schiavo's due process rights and the right not be subject to cruel and unusual punishment were properly protected by a state court. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decided on its own that abortion was a federal question, not to be left to the states, without any constitutional basis whatsoever. It preempted every state court and legislature (and Congress, for that matter). And the Left celebrates this decision.

As for why Congress is acting here, as opposed to any other case with overlapping issues, I suppose that question could be asked whenever Congress acts. The Schiavo case has risen to national attention. So, Congress is responding. That's how representative government works. The week after the Titanic sank, Congress held its first hearings to change U.S. maritime laws.

We must not allow the Left to define the terms of this debate. It is willing to make almost any argument to protect the supremacy of the courts. And even though Congress here is instructing the federal courts to review the case, the Left objects to any congressional exercise of constitutional authority over the judiciary. As Rep. Jim Moran (Dem, VA) said yesterday, "The judiciary has spoken."

Mark has nailed it on political dimensions of the debate.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Special St. Blogs Ring Focus on Terri Schiavo

My angelic bot has done a complete read of the approximatey 500 blogs of the St. Blog's Ring and prepared this list of recently updated blogs containing the text "Schiavo" or "Schivao" (the common mispelling of her name)


This page is auto-updated every 6 hours. Let me know if you need this as a plain xml file.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:58 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Terri Debates

Wonkadelica wrote in the WABC Discussion Board

Someone needs to make a credible case for why Terry Schiavo's husband would refuse to divorce her, refuse a $10M bribe to just walk away and get on with his life! He never profited from her insurance settlement.

The only rational explanation is that he is honoring her unwritten wish she expressed to him privately. He waited 8 years for some sign of medical hope before finally seeking permission to let her die and has endured numerous bitter legal battles ever since. For what!

Apparently, only Texas Baptist hospitals are qualified to allow mercy deaths. Where was the political outrage here?

I replied

Someone needs to make a credible case for why Terry Schiavo's husband would

(1) refuse to have her given ordinary medical care.
(2) refuse to have her treated for a simple urinary tract infection -- which left untreated could have resulted in her death. (This is not my statement but sworn by Michael Schiavo in a deposition to show neglect on his part)
(3) refuse to let her have sunlight in her room
(4) refuse to let her being moved outdoors when the weather permitted
(5) refuse to let her parents visit
(6) refuse to spend any of the money of the settlement on her rehabilitation
(7) refuse to divorce her while being in a common law marriage with another woman and having two children with her.

Wonkadelica - he can "walk away and get on with his life" at any point. There is nothing that stops him from doing so, except he doesn't want to "walk away and get on with his life".

He did "profit" from the insurance settlement. What do you call having sole discretion over a million dollars? A "loss"?

What so magic about "8 years"? Is that Terri's clock or Michael's clock? The settlement was provided was the rest of her natural life -- not a life truncated by dehyrdration and starvation.

He is not seeking permission to "let her die" -- he is seeking to have have die by denying her food and water.

Update: Wonadelica replied and I replied.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:30 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com