Terri and Two Popes
By Terence J. Hughes
Here are my last thoughts of John Paul II, my first thoughts of Benedict XVI, and my enduring thoughts of Terri Schiavo. Terri first. This is my letter to the Bangor Daily News, not printed, written on 23 March 2005, eight days before she died. Lest we forget.
Stalin said one death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic. That was how Stalin explained how he could kill millions in Communist Russia.
The impending Court-imposed death of Terri Schiavo by depriving her of basic nutrition is an obvious tragedy. The “statistic” mentioned but glossed over by the media is that Terri is one of thousands being routinely killed in hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices all over this country for years without a court order or even any appeal to our legal system. This mass-murder is deemed “necessary” by the medical and legal establishments, and with a knowing silence, by most Establishment institutions. I have three observations.
First, keeping Terri Schiavo alive would set a legal precedent that all other American citizens in her condition also must be kept alive. This includes healthy citizens who are merely mentally impaired. The routine murder of these handicapped citizens would be driven underground and therefore greatly reduced because the killers would be subject to prosecution if anyone “talked.” As happened following legalized abortion in 1973, when the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling assured us that increasing legal protection would be provided to unborn babies after three months in the womb, now these babies can be killed up to and including the moment of birth for any reason or no reason. Now three Federal courts ruled as “unconstitutional” the new Federal law banning killing newborn babies on their birthday by “partial-birth” abortions. We can be certain that legalized murder of handicapped and elderly citizens who can no longer care for themselves will accelerate, based on State and Federal court rulings that Terri can be murdered by slow torture that isn’t legal even for a dog, murdered on mere hearsay testimony that is routinely rejected in other court cases. Terri Schiavo alive is a dire threat to the Culture of Death that holds American jurisprudence in thralldom.
Second, this alone makes Terri’s life valuable to all of us. This woman in her helplessness stands between us and a similar cruel barbaric death that awaits us all, because nearly all of us will one day depend on others to keep us alive. Their hearts must be hardened against Terri, so they will be hardened against us when our turn comes. The truth is, the most vulnerable among us are the most valuable members of our society. They compel us to respond to the higher angels in human nature, the nature of which Jesus Christ spoke in Matthew 25 that will determine whether we will be saved or damned. Without those higher angels, we will surely sink beneath beasts, savaging our own without remorse, without regret. Must I say that Jews were shipped to Auschwitz under full sanction of law in Nazi Germany? Must I say that a handful of German students who circulated leaflets alerting German citizens to this genocide were guillotined by the government? Why are we going down that path? Money! In the richest nation on Earth, it costs too much to keep the most vulnerable among us alive by simply giving them food and water.
Third, Terri Schiavo is being murdered by the State during Holy Week, the week when Jesus Christ was murdered by the State. Both were convicted by people who bore false witness (she “wanted” this, she’s a “vegetable”). Both were innocent of any crime deserving death, or of any crime at all. Both were sentenced to death by State officials who knew both were innocent. In both cases the sanction of law was used to mask an atrocity. In both cases a howling mob demanded their execution (all those demanding Terri’s death during the three hours of debate in Congress endorse killing the next generation of Americans by abortion). In both cases their chosen religious leaders abandoned them (Christ’s chosen twelve apostles fled, those claiming succession from them, American Catholic bishops, are hunkered down—Terri is a Roman Catholic). Even the minutia are hauntingly familiar. Jesus’ and Terri’s mothers are named Mary, and both witnessed their cruel deaths. Terri’s father bears the surname Schindler, the name of a “Righteous Gentile” honored by Jews in Israel for saving Jews from Auschwitz and starvation, murder, and cremation, as is now Terri’s fate. All that is missing as I write this is for Terri to die with Our Lord on Good Friday. Once again, He is being crucified. This time in America.
So that was my unprinted letter. True, it was long, but the Bangor Daily News has printed guest editorials of mine this long in the past. It came out editorially for Terri’s death. Since then the American Catholic bishops issued a statement against capital punishment and remained silent on the court-ordered execution of Terri Schiavo. They spoke with one voice in favor of Barabbas and shunned Christ on the Cross. When the State enforced the order by Terri’s Lutheran husband to deprive her of the Sacraments as she lay dying, our bishops voiced no objection to having the Church’s duty to a dying Catholic woman vetoed by a non-Catholic. He relented only when Evangelical Christians were arrested by the State for trying to deliver a wafer of unleavened bread and a vial of wine to Terri on Easter Sunday. They performed the act of mercy no Catholic priest would risk. Only then did Terri’s husband allow a drop of consecrated wine to be placed on her parched lips (“I thirst.”John 19:28). Father Neuhaus, where was the “Catholic” half of Evangelicals and Catholics Together? I saw and heard James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Patrick Mahoney, Randall Terry, Charles Colson, Gerry Falwell, even Jesse Jackson defend Terri’s right to life and to our sacraments—but not our Catholic bishops (a few did). Never have I been so ashamed of them! Terri’s bishop washed his hands of any duty toward her, as Pilate did with Our Lord. Bishop Lynch, a telling name for the bishop who abetted lynching Terri. Lest we forget.
Here are my two last and enduring memories of John Paul II. First was seeing him in the window of his Vatican apartment with two children. Unable to speak, like Terri, he tried to launch two doves. They kept flying back into his apartment, so he threw up his hands and let them return. Even the birds of the air didn’t want to be separated from him. Then, in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, I read his statement defending Terri’s right to food and water on Easter Sunday, as he was about to join in Solidarity with Terri in needing a feeding tube to live. John Paul II died at the end of Easter Week, two days after her. Their deaths bracketing Friday, when Our Lord died. Thus his last public act, like his first, was an act of Solidarity with the abandoned, first with millions of Polish workers, last with Terri dying alone. Lest we forget.
Terri took two horrible weeks to die. A Catholic governor and an Evangelical president, two brothers who wanted “to err on the side of life” for her, let her be tortured to death with the whole world watching. President Clinton had Janet Nero send Federal marshals looking like Nazi thugs to grab Elian Gonzales on live television and hand him over to Castro in Communist Cuba after Elian’s mother died to bring him to America. That defied a judge’s order that Elian should stay here. But George Bush, who sends thousands of American marines halfway around the world to topple a tyrant, wouldn’t send a handful of marshals to rescue Terri. Jeb Bush wouldn’t send marshals to rescue a dying woman in his own state. If these brothers had acted together to face down the Culture of Death baying for her blood, they would have won honored places in the pantheon of American heroes. But they slinked away with tucked tails, to cower in the Hall of Shame with Benedict Arnold and the knaves of our nation. The Culture of Death got a tremendous morale boost with this “victory” after its “defeat” in last November’s elections.
I’m not finished. A lot of others showed yellow during Holy Week and Easter Week when Terri lay dying. Nearly all of them claim to be Roman Catholics. Most visible were the “Catholic” Senators and Congressmen, who were either hunkered down on Easter “recess” as Terri’s body turned yellow and shriveled with dehydration (“I thirst.” John 19:28) or were screaming for her blood in the halls of Congress (“Crucify Him!” John 19:6). Who were these creeps? Invariably they are Irish Catholics, so I have to claim them. They include those on the Judiciary Committee (Kennedy, Biden, Leahy) who have mounted the filibuster to keep any judges off the Federal bench who might remotely reverse Roe v. Wade if they got on the Supreme Court. They are the ones who post the NO CATHOLICS NEED APPLY signs on every courthouse if the Catholic is loyal to our Church, and not renegades like them. Like Bishop Lynch Terri Lynch (another Irish Catholic), they love killing the helpless. Did you hear Cardinal Phony Baloney Mahony say “I never saw him looking better” to a reporter after he viewed the corpse of John Paul II? He’s another Irish Catholic along with Comfortable Cardinal McCarrick, Cardinal Outlaw, and Archbishop Harry Flimflam Flynn who routinely give Our Lord in Holy Communion to Irish Catholic politicians dedicated to killing the next generation of Americans by abortion, thereby signaling to Catholics in the pews that killing babies is okay, and who routinely provide cover for homosexual predatory Irish Catholic priests (Geoghan, Shanley, and on and on and on) who can’t stop raping altar boys. That’s why Terri got no help from them.
So what’s going on here? I’ve heard God wedded the Irish to booze because He knew that sober they’d take over the world and that would be bad news for humanity (even drunk, Teddy Kennedy has taken over the U.S. Senate and look what’s happened). From some decades of observations, I will say the average Irish Catholic has only one loyalty—to the Democratic Party. It doesn’t matter if that Irish Catholic is a priest, bishop, archbishop, Cardinal, or just a tinhorn party hack collecting a patronage salary as a precinct enforcer. They are all the same. You are typical, Father McBrien. You could change jobs with Mayor Daley of Chicago and nobody would know the difference. You would both be pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, pro-euthanasia, doing all you can to advance the Culture of Death inside and outside the Church, all the while insisting your are “personally opposed” and you don’t want to “impose” your “morality” (!) on others. Don’t they say Teddy Kennedy’s “morality” is so “private” he won’t even impose it on himself? That’s you. That’s Daley. On your and Father Hesburgh’s watch, Catholic universities either went AWOL or defected to the Culture of Death during this titanic struggle for the soul of America. What should have been the Church’s biggest cannons aren’t even pop-guns.
The Catholic Church in America (and other English-speaking countries) is run by a bunch of shanty Irish with lace curtain pretensions. They are all (well, almost all) a bunch of Democratic Party hacks, no matter what their public position may be, and their all-consuming passion is to promote the Culture of Death by locking the Catholic Church and the Democratic Party in a Dance of Death from which neither can be extricated. That’s what I see. I see it everywhere, top to bottom. None of them believes Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and if He is, they think they will be able to bullshit and blarney their way into Heaven anyway. Be honest (for once) Father McBrien. Isn’t that what you think? Don’t be coy. Fess up. I’ve seen you too many times on TV as NARAL’s in-house priest. Priests and ex-priests like Robert Drinan and Daniel Maguire (Irish Catholics all!) are up-front pro-aborts. You can be too. Show some guts.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system (for now), I can go on to something pleasant. When I heard Cardinal Ratzinger’s eulogy of John Paul II on EWTN, I thought, “He’s going to be our next pope!” Earlier I had speculated that if a Third World Cardinal were chosen, it would mean that the Holy Spirit had written off Europe. For two generations now, Europeans as a whole no longer accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God. That was the view of the Arian heresy in the fifth century, and it was embraced by nearly all the Catholic bishops in the eastern and southern Mediterranean parts of the Roman Empire, when the northern and western parts were being overrun by Germanic barbarians who also embraced the Arian heresy if they abandoned paganism. The outstanding exception were the Franks, who occupied Gaul, making it France, the eldest daughter of the Church, and from which the Catholic faith was propagated in and beyond the old Roman Empire to Britain, Ireland, Germany, Poland, and Hungary.
Then came God’s judgment on Arianism. Arabs conquered the eastern and southern parts of the Roman Empire, subjugating the Arian bishops and their flocks to Islam, where their descendants remain in thralldom to this very day. The Goths in Spain embraced Arianism only temporarily, so Islamic rule in Spain was only temporary (a mere 700 years!). Like the Arians, Arabs did not accept Jesus as the Son of God. I see subjugation to Islam as God’s punishment for those who reject Jesus Christ as His Son. That’s why Islam exists. “You don’t accept My Son who died for you? Then accept thralldom to a religion that agrees with you!”
Europeans today richly deserve the same fate. By rejecting both Jesus and children, while welcoming hordes of Moslems to do the menial jobs they shun, today’s Europeans are virtually ensuring that their few descendants will, like the dwindling Christian remnant in the Middle East and other once-Arian lands, dwell within the expanding frontiers of Islam. Only the Holy Spirit can save Europe from becoming part of Islam. By themselves, Europeans lack both the resolve and the capacity to stop it. Europeans live only for the pleasures of the moment and agree with the corrupt politician: “Why should I care about posterity? What’s posterity ever done for me?” They say the same of Jesus Christ and His Church, but with more venom. Letting Europeans be persecuted and replaced by Moslems continues a long history of God’s using Islam to chastise and replace a decadent Christendom. The Church needs Islam here, just as it needs Hell there.
But the appearance of Benedict XVI gives me hope that God’s judgment of Europe will be unto restoration, not destruction. A German Pope from the country where the Protestant Reformation began, but from Bavaria, which remained Catholic, encourages me to hope that another “Counter Reformation” may be underway, this time against Darwinism. Darwin is the Arias of our time and, like Arianism, Darwinism has replaced belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God—even replaced belief in God—throughout most of Europe and infects the intelligentsia of North America and other lands where Europeans have settled.
Benedict XVI won’t be bamboozled by our American bishops. He found out all he needed to know about them when Comfortable Cardinal McCarrick and Wilted Wilton Gregory double crossed him by refusing to share his message to the bishops meeting in the Rockies last June that pro-abortion Catholic politicians shouldn’t be given Holy Communion. So I’m hopeful that he won’t only be good for Europe, he’ll be good for America too.
Benedict XVI needs our prayers. John Paul II was great and I think he’ll go down in history as The Great, and he’ll be named a saint and a Doctor of the Church. He may even get your title, Father Marx, the Apostle of Life. But look at what went wrong. Catholic churches in the First World emptied as our churches and our liturgy were both desecrated by “renovators” who hate the Church. Great religious orders like the Jesuits and Benedictines were taken over by renegade homosexuals. Nuns have vanished. Bishop Malone, you can’t even defend marriage in Maine because too many of your priests are homosexuals, and the pro-sodomy pro-abortion Democratic Party “owns” Catholic Charities. Bishops gave predatory priests an unlimited supply of altar boys to sodomize, and gave militantly pro-abortion politicians unlimited access to Holy Communion in full view of church-going Catholics, so they decided it was okay to kill their children too. The Sacrament of Matrimony became a mockery, with annulments handed out like Halloween treats. The Sacrament of Penance languishes because nobody “sins.” This happened because Catholics, clerical and lay, lost interest in their past, forgot all the saints who gave their lives for Christ, all the poor immigrant parents who dedicated their lives to building the Church in America and gave their children to serve God in His Church. All of it was lost, forgotten during the papacy of John Paul II. But those people lived, and those sacrifices were made.
Lest we forget,
Terence J. Hughes