Hello Megan O'Matz: A note from Rome

Please let me dive in here quick with a few thoughts on that South Florida Sun-Sentinel story about Terri Schiavo by reporter Megan O'Matz. I agree with the Rt. Rev. LeBlanc that this sidebar may have broken some kind of record for slanted presentations of basic information. We appeal to reporters and copy editors out there: It is time to slap a magnifying glass on all copy about this hot-button case. People on both sides are throwing around loaded language and truth claims.

This is no time to go soft. Test both sides. Did Terri speak to her father? Do not leave this to the blogs. Go find out. Listen to the tape and watch the videos. Did she or didn't she? There is a canyon growing between the language used on left and right and the MSM has to cover this. Want to see a blast from the left? Click here.

But I digress. In addition to cute little shots at African American evangelicals and neo-1950s conservative Presbyterians, O'Matz also noted this reference to the Catholic point of view down here in the tropics:

The Most Rev. John C. Favalora, archbishop of Miami, sent a memo to Catholic churches Saturday, calling upon "all people of good will to join in prayer for Terri Schiavo" and for "a change of heart among those responsible for Terri and for the light and guidance of the Holy Spirit for all our public officials."

The archbishop asserted that bringing about Schiavo's death by starvation is not in accord with papal teachings. "Food and water can only be denied if death is imminent or if it proves to worsen the individual's condition," he wrote.

Note the presence of the word "asserted" in this statement of papal -- the story does not even concede "Roman Catholic" -- teachings. I mean, perhaps the archbishop misunderstood the Vatican on this issue. You think?

Then again, maybe the archbishop knows what he is talking about. After all, there is this new Associated Press report on the wires from Vatican City. This seems rather clear to me:

"Who can, before God and humanity, pretend with impunity to claim such a right?" L'Osservatore Romano said. "Who -- and on the basis of which criteria -- can establish to whom the 'privilege' to live should be given?" . . .

"Who can judge the dignity and sacredness of the life of a human being, made in the image and likeness of God? Who can decide to pull the plug as if we were talking about a broken or out of order household appliance?" the paper said.

". . . (There's) a woman who is about to die from hunger and thirst. There is the slow dying of a person -- not a 'vegetable' -- which an impotent world is witnessing through TV and newspapers."

It seems the Roman Catholic hierarchy has tried to assert its teachings quite clearly in this case.

I hope the Sun-Sentinel notes that in some future story.

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