PM intervenes in Italian “Terri Schiavo” case, says she can still have babies

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After consulting with the Vatican, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy has decided to intervene in the life of Eluana Englaro, who has been in a vegetative state since a car accident 17 years ago.  

As reported in the U.K. Guardian

Justifying his campaign to save Englaro’s life, the prime minister added that, physically at least, she was “in the condition to have babies”, a remark described by La Stampa newspaper as “shocking”. Giorgio Napolitano, Italy’s president, has refused to sign the decree, but if it is ratified by the Italian parliament doctors may be obliged to resume the feeding of Eluana early this week.

The case has deeply divided Italian society and raised concerns over the influence of the Vatican. Yesterday Pope Benedict indirectly referred to Englaro in a message delivered to mark the World Day of the Sick, stating that society had a duty to defend “the absolute and supreme dignity of every human being” even when “weak and shrouded in the mystery of suffering”. But even some of Berlusconi’s political allies, including the president of the lower house of parliament, Gianfranco Fini, have stated that the supreme court ruling should be obeyed and Englaro should be allowed to die.

Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family at the Vatican said back in November…

“Many words have been said and written about Eluana’s case. The most beautiful and persuasive of these are those [spoken] by the nuns (who care for Eluana): ‘If there is someone who considers her dead, let them leave Eluana to continue with us, who feel she is alive … Let us have the freedom to love and to give ourselves to one who is weak.'”

Let me get this right… The nuns are owed the freedom to care for Eluana, while denying Eluana’s family, her own flesh and blood, the freedom to bring her life to a close with some sense of dignity? Really? I thought selfishness was a sin. 

And PM Berlusconi might want to consult elsewhere. The Vatican and the Pope’s track record haven’t been terribly reliable as of late, including  a Holocaust denying bishop  and another bishop calling Hurricane Katrina “God’s punishment.”

Post by ILO on 02/08/09 at 10:45 pm