Michael Schiavo Bans Catholic Priests From Terri's Bedside
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 20, 2003
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA--Last Friday evening, Monsignor Thaddeus Malanowski of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, stopped by Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater to see Terri Schiavo, whom he had visited many times while she was in hospice care. The Catholic priest gave Terri the Sacraments of Absolution and Healing as he had on many occasions.
He visited again Saturday with Terri's family to perform a weekly ritual they've observed together for nearly three years.
But when Malanowski stopped by Monday morning, he was told he was no longer allowed to see Terri because her husband, Michael Schiavo, had banned the Reverend from her room because of concerns about his "integrity."
Malanowski later learned that Terri's husband will not allow any Catholic chaplains at the hospital to see her.
"I thought every Catholic person has the right to the sacrament of the Church by a priest or Catholic chaplain," he said. "I never came across anything like this."
An attorney for Michael Schiavo says that Malanowski was only permitted to visit Terri while she was in the hospice, where she had lived until she was admitted to the hospital last Wednesday. Schiavo claims the priest lied to hospital personnel by saying he was permitted by court order to visit Terri.
"That's not true!" Malanowski exclaimed when he was told Schiavo's reason for banning him.
Terri is being given food and water through a feeding tube installed in her stomach. She is nearing the end of a 30-day legal stay that has kept a local court from scheduling the removal of that feeding tube. Terri's husband and guardian says his wife has been in a "persistent vegetative state" since she collapsed from an apparent heart attack 13 years ago. He convinced the courts that his wife told him before the attack that she would not have wanted to live in her current condition.
Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, have been fighting to keep Terri alive. They have medical professionals who state that Terri is aware and responsive, and that she needs therapies to improve. The Schindlers claim that Michael's desire to get rid of Terri is motivated in part by greed because he stands to gain several hundred thousand dollars from an insurance settlement once she dies.
Patricia Anderson, the Schindler's attorney, told WorldNetDaily that Michael Schiavo is trying to make Terri's environment as "barren as possible, and as free from stimulation."
"I don't think there is any justification for removing spiritual comfort from her in what may be her last days," Anderson said. "It's beyond comprehension."
"Husband bars priest from brain-damaged wife" (WorldNetDaily.com)
"Terri Schiavo's Right To Live" (Inclusion Daily Express)
"Terri's Fight" (Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation)