Human Nature

Religious Liberty

Divorce, suicide, and the Schiavo case.

“According to the teaching of Jesus, it is God who has joined man and woman together in the marital bond. Certainly this union takes place with the free consent of both parties, but this human consentconcerns a plan that is divine. … To treat indissolubility not as a natural juridical norm but as a mere ideal empties of meaning the unequivocal declaration of Jesus Christ, who absolutely refused divorce because “from the beginning it was not so” … [P]rofessionals in the field of civil law should avoid being personally involved in anything that might imply a cooperation with divorce.” [Emphasis in original.]

Address of John Paul II to the prelate auditors, officials and advocates of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, Jan. 28, 2002

“The parents of Terri Schiavo asked a judge to allow the severely brain-damaged woman to divorce her husband—even if she dies—in one of a flurry of 11 new motions filed by the couple. In the divorce motion filed Monday, Bob and Mary Schindler accused Michael Schiavo of adultery and not acting in his wife’s best interests.”

Associated Press, March 1, 2005

“During the hearing in Tampa, the chief lawyer for Ms. Schiavo’s parents … David Gibbs, also said Ms. Schiavo’s religious beliefs as a Roman Catholic were being infringed because Pope John Paul II has deemed it unacceptable for Catholics to refuse food and water. ‘We are now in a position where a court has ordered her to disobey her church and even jeopardize her eternal soul,’ Mr. Gibbs said.”

New York Times, March 22, 2005