Holy See Grieved by Terri Schiavo's Death

Reaction of Vatican Spokesman and Cardinal

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 1, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See officially expressed its sadness over the death of the brain-damaged woman in Florida who died of starvation after her husband had her feeding tube removed.

On Thursday afternoon, Joaquín Navarro Valls, director of the Vatican press office, said that the circumstances surrounding Terri Schiavo’s death have “rightly upset consciences.”

“A life was interrupted. Death was arbitrarily anticipated, because feeding a person can never be considered as drastic therapy,” said the Vatican spokesman in a statement.

“There is no doubt that there can be no exceptions to the principle of the sacredness of life, from conception to its natural end. In addition to being a principle of Christian ethics, this has also been a principle of human civilization,” added the text.

“It is to be hoped that, because of this dramatic experience, a greater awareness of human dignity will mature in public opinion and that this will lead to greater defense of life, even on a legal level,” concluded Navarro Valls.

Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, described Terri Schiavo’s death as a homicide, in face of which one cannot be indifferent without becoming an accomplice.”

Cardinal Martino added that it was “an unjust sentence to death of an innocent, by one of the most inhuman and cruel forms, hunger and thirst.”

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