Pro-Life Advocate Pope John Paul II Died Today

AP - Pope John Paul II, the Polish pontiff who led the Roman Catholic Church for more than a quarter century and became history's most-traveled pope, has died at 84, the Vatican announced in an e-mail Saturday.

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life released the following statement upon the death of the Holy Father:

"Today we bid farewell to Pope John Paul the Great, the Pope of Life. His teachings will guide and nourish the Church for centuries. In particular, his teachings on the sanctity of life, especially the unborn, will continue to stir our consciences to build a culture of life."

Pope John Paul II took a clear stand against euthanasia and the death via starvation suffered earlier this week by Terri Schiavo. He wrote,

"... the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering"
More recently, the Vatican released a statement which made clear the starvation of Terri Schiavo would be a ruthless way to kill a person. "It is euthanasia," Javier Lozano, of the Pontiff's Council for Health, told CNN. [CNN, March 23, 2005] Cardinal Martino, speaking "according to the teaching of the Pope", did not mintz words:
"When you deprive somebody of food and water, what else is it? Nothing else but murder."
Some have drawn parallels between the Pope's failing condition and the plight of Terri Schiavo. "John Paul suffered from Parkinson's disease, while Schiavo was in a vegetative state. But both call us to a respect for life," a priest told the Daily Herald. The Popeís condition worsened on the same day that Terri Schiavo died, the result of 13 days without a feeding tube. It was the same day that the Pope was given his own feeding tube. [Jeff Crouere]

However, the contrasts are far more striking. While the Pope lived and died consistent with his public advocacy for the dignity of all human life, Marry Kenny (Times Online) writes, "The case of Terri Schiavo, whose life has just been ended in Florida, is, by contrast, an example of a death without dignity. She died because she was starved and parched to death by her husbandís decision, backed by a legal decision."

Certainly the difficult events of this week are a call "to people of good will to defend the fundamental right to life, in respect of the dignity of every human person."

LifeNews Reports the following:

In his most recent remarks, delivered last month from his hospital bed, the Pope declared a pro-life day in Italy and told Catholics worldwide to continue defending the sanctity of human life.

"One must have confidence in life," Pope John Paul II said.

"Confidence in life is demanded silently by children who are yet unborn," the Holy Father said. "Confidence is also asked by so many children who, remaining without a family for different reasons, need a home that will receive them through adoption or temporary custody."

MichNews has more: Terri Schiavo: A Case of Judicial Homicide

MichNews has more: Terri Schiavo: A Case of Judicial Homicide




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