VATICAN CITY, FEB. 6, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Today the Vatican denied the media’s claim that there was a telephone call between Benedict XVI’s secretary of state and the Italian prime minister on behalf of the woman being called Italy’s Terri Schiavo.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardo, director of the Vatican press office, affirmed in a declaration: “We categorically deny the report published this morning, with such emphasis, by an Italian daily newspaper, concerning a supposed telephone conversation between Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
“The news is completely unfounded.”
The Italian newspaper, “La Stampa,” published a story in which it claimed that the cardinal made a telephone call to the prime minister in order to share the Church’s concerns in the case of Eluana Englaro, the 38-year-old woman who has been in a vegetative state for 17 years.
Englaro, in a coma since a car accident in 1992, was moved at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday from the hospital where she was being cared for, to a geriatric residence in Udine.
This center agreed to fulfill the wish of Englaro’s father, that she be disconnected from her feeding tubes and allowed to die. The process has already begun of decreasing the Italian woman’s supply of food and water.
Today, ministers of the Italian government met and approved an emergency decree backed by Berlusconi against the suspension of nourishment. The decree must be approved in Parliament in order to become a law.