Diogenes of CWN points to and comments on this statement by Bishop Lynch. Doing some computer forensic work I was able to reconstruct the first draft of this statement. The text in blue is the reconstructed text and the rest is the posted statement.
STATEMENT FROM BISHOP ROBERT N. LYNCH ON THE DEATH OF TERESA SCHINDLER SCHIAVO
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Terri Shiavo of which I did nothing to prevent or even spend the time to spell her last name right before I released this statement. I know that you join me in praying that Terri finds a warm welcome in eternity with Our Lord. I ask you, as well, to keep Terri’s family in your prayers who rightly see me as personal non gratis. The many years during which Terri was incapacitated took a great toll on Terri’s family and loved ones especially her husband who suffered from her staying alive. It was my sincere hope that while Terri was still in nursing care her family members would find a way to put their differences aside after all starvation and dehydration is such a small family dispute, and come together in agreement about Terri’s on-going care or actually the total lack of basic care and rehabilitation. At this time, now that Terri has gone to meet our Lord, I continue to hope and pray that all of Terri’s family members may seek and find healing and peace from God, our Creator.
There are a number of significant issues that have been highlighted by Terri’s health problems and her death. A number of people have mentioned to me that they now see a necessity to have a formal conversation with their family members about their personal desires regarding health care in the event that they become incapacitated. And I just have no problem with people writing living wills and allowing themselves to be put to death when they are not actually at an end-of-life stage. Normally I would talk about this being a teaching moment, but I really don’t want to go into the nuances between basic care and extraordinary means used to prolong life.
I have given a great deal of thought and reflection to these comments after all I had much time to think when I skipped town during Holy Week and the days leading up to Terri’s death while in Jakarta, Indonesia (obviously Canon 395 does not apply when you need to dodge the media and pesky Catholics wanting me to uphold the Church’s teaching). My recommendation to you is this: never miss an opportunity to spend time with your loved ones and friends; never let a day pass without telling your parents and children that you love them since you never know when a relative might get the state to help kill them; cherish each day as a gift from God, and keep your hearts fixed on that day when you will see God face to face, in fact I am looking forward to getting fitted with a millstone and being tossed into the sea. We live a very fast-paced life; it’s easy to forget that life is short, especially when you are prevented from eating or drinking. The only certain formula for a happy life is to live each day in gratitude for God’s goodness and being thankful for those of you who don’t live in my diocese. For, at the end of a life lived in gratitude, we can be assured of Our Savior’s loving embrace because while on earth you can’t rely on your own Bishop to help you from being executed for the crime of being incapacitated.”
I think you hit the nail right on the head.
The letter I wrote to the Bishop asking him about the failure of his diocese to act on behalf of Terri Schiavo and her family (as well as the liturgical and sacramental peculiarities), remains unanswered. Your “first draft” tells more about the man than I think he even knows about himself.
People occasionally shake their heads over my frequently-expressed conviction that a large portion of the people in the world are either cowardly or dumb or venal, and that the praise of such persons is therefore worth nothing. My mother was especially distressed about it, and thought it very unnatural that I “didn’t even want to be liked,” as she put it. One of the advantages to it, however, is that if you aren’t hamstrung by a need to be approved of, you don’t find yourself in the position of being afraid to do what’s right even though others might criticize you. I wish a few more of our bishops didn’t care about being liked.
A poignant fisking as usual. It saddens me so much to see that the Bishop could not even muster the effort to denounce this horrendous crime after it occured.
Big Bob Lynch is a sad excuse for a human being, yet alone a bishop.
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