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Finally, The Cavalry Has Arrived!

By: Deacon Keith A Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC


"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

St Paul to the Roman Christians (Romans 8:28)


I read these encouraging words from the Readings for the Divine Liturgy this morning. Then, I prayed, as I and millions of others have done for weeks now... for Terri Schiavo and her family.

Not that long ago, when asked by a friend of the family and champion of life, Randall Terry, I submitted a memorandum of law (through Common Good Foundation's Legal Defense Fund) trying to persuade Governor Bush to do the right thing and prevent the commission of euthanasia against Terri.

I have also written editorials, spoken out on radio, pled, argued, attempted to persuade others... but most of all I have prayed to the living, loving God who cherishes every human life, including this beautiful young womans life.

I believe He has heard all of our prayers, together. Terri was rescued From the ferocious jaws of the culture of death. She was saved from a sure death by starvation.

I vividly remember the day it happened. I rejoiced, along with millions who have followed this case. I am sure her parents wept.

However, our relief was short lived.

It was Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta who spoke with such simplicity concerning the horror of killing a child in the first home of the whole human race, a mother's womb: ``It is poverty to kill a child so that you may live as you wish''

Now we live in a world where the disabled are being killed for the same reason. That is really what is behind the effort to end Terri's life.

Many the world over have felt so powerless while, with the protection of the State, Terri Schiavo was nearly euthanized. Make no mistake; Terri was NOT "naturally" dying. She is a brain damaged, disabled woman whose family loves her and wants to care for her. Many people like Terri are lovingly cared for on a daily basis. However, in this case, she had become "inconvenient". So, she was almost killed with the assistance of a Court Order requiring the withdrawal of food and water.

Eventually, prayers, hard, effective battling by Terri's parents through her able lawyers and a groundswell of citizen activism led to the passage of "Terri's law" and the Governor finally did what was right. Terri was saved from a sure death by starvation and dehydration. However, the battle only subsided.

Prayer vigils are still being held while legal efforts to end her life continue. The forces of the "death on demand" movement will not give up. The battle rages and the Courts are once again being used in an effort to literally kill Terri. It is that simple and that horrible!

I do not care what you call it. The masters of verbal engineering are all over the media these days calling murder, "mercy", hiding their intentions under noble sounding appeals to that "quality of life" mantra that is often a subterfuge. Intentionally withholding food and water until someone dies - is what it is-euthanasia.

When I read those words from the Sacred Scripture this morning, I prayed that the Lord would send new troops into the battle. I know I was not alone. Guess what? He did!

I rejoiced when I received the news that the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), an international public interest firm, was intervening in the current legal case filed by Terri's estranged husband and the A.C.L.U.

I know the ACLJ well. I served for seven years as their first Executive Director. I know their Chief Counsel, Jay Sekulow well. I served as co-counsel with him in several cases of the many that he has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a warrior and an extraordinary lawyer and they are an unbelievable resource at a critical hour!

I called Jay today to thank him. I told him that millions of us have been praying for help for Terri and that, of all the many cases that he has argued, this may be his most important. What is at stake is the precious life of a disabled young woman. This woman has also become a symbol of the greatest truth and deepest challenge of our age.

The challenge is to build a new culture of life and civilization of love wherein every single human person, at every age and stage, is recognized as having an inviolable dignity precisely because they are a human person. The truth is that our society will only rediscover its moral compass when it recognizes our unalienable right to live and protects us all from being killed by those who exercise a raw power over those who are weaker, whether in the womb or a wheelchair.

I reminded Jay that during another difficult time, during the last century , another "culture of death" was spreading its errors. Among its proponents were a Lawyer and a Doctor, Hoche and Binding, who teamed up to write the now infamous Book entitled "Life unworthy of Life" That book and its horrid arguments became the foundation of the eugenics movement of the National Socialist Regime.

In that book, the phrase "useless eater" was coined. Imagine deciding that any person was a "useless eater"? Such thinking led to the horrors of the gas ovens. We need to wake up, such thinking is now being called "mercy" in our own beloved country.

Jay will join an already able legal team - as a David against a Goliath. But we all know the story and we know the outcome. We need to pray and to remember that we serve the God who always defies the "odds". He always hears the cry of the poor.

Please join me in praying for Jay and for all those who struggle in this noble cause. Join me in praying for Terri, her Mom and Dad and her family. Join me in praying for our Nation.

I end this day feeling a little better, a little more confident.

Oh, I know that this is a hard fought battle. However, I take some solace in the arrival of Jay and the ACLJ. I grew up in the age of Westerns. I remember those old movies, when the odds seemed so stacked, the sound of the trumpet was heard in the background giving hope to those in the battle. With the intervention of this team under the leadership of Jay Sekulow, I now experience the sentiment.

I think I can hear the faint sound of the trumpet!

Finally, the Cavalry has arrived!


Deacon Keith Fournier is a constitutional lawyer, a graduate of the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University, Franciscan University of Steubenville and the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law. He is one of the founders of the Your Catholic Voice Movement and the President of the Your Catholic Voice Foundation.

Your Catholic Voice is a international movement of lay Catholics building a new Catholic Action and promoting faithful citizenship through four pillars of participation; Life, Family, Freedom and Solidarity. For information go to Your Catholic Voice


Your Catholic Voice Foundation VA, US
Deacon Keith Fournier - President, 757 546-9580



Terri Schiavo

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