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Reverend Pavone on CNN, Regarding Terri Schiavo

This press conference you are seeing -- that her father is behind her. Let's listen in to see what he has to say.

FATHER FRANK PAVONE: ...that has committed acts totally beyond their authority. The courts have absolutely no moral authority to order that a human being be starved and dehydrated as is happening to Terri right at this moment. As I sat there next to her, I noticed several things: first of all, she is holding three stuffed animals. Under her right arm is a stuffed dog, under her left arm is a stuffed- animal kitten, and next to her left arm, a bunny rabbit. Were those animals real animals, we would not be allowed to do to them what is happening to Terri right now.

Next to her bed on the side table is a vase of flowers, beautiful flowers. And then across the room from the foot of her bed is another vase of flowers, also beautiful flowers.

In both cases, those flowers have plenty of water. They have more water than she does. The flowers are being taken better care of right now than our sister Terri. What is happening here is a monumental disaster for our nation and for civilization. What is happening here is that we are buying into the idea that there are certain class of people, namely those who are disabled, that we can just go ahead and kill and not lose a good night's sleep over it.

We're witnessing here a crossroads for our nation and we've got to decide whether we're going to continue to listen to courts that absolutely have no authority to allow this to happen, or if the other two branches of government, the executive and the legislative, will have the will to act on their own authority.

I for one, and I know millions around the country have the same sentiment, am tired of hearing the executive and the legislative branches of our government say, well, the court has spoken, and there's nothing we can do. Yes, there is something you can do. Use your own authority given to you by the constitution to protect human life.

And whether Terri survives or dies, that is going to be the ongoing question. Are we governing ourselves or not? We elect people in this country who stand for the kind of values that we do, the kind of values that our nation was founded on. And this election of 2004 showed that very clearly, that there are people ready to take their values into the voting booth. And then when we elect these people, then say they say to us, ultimately well, we can't do anything. And then unelected judges begin to chart the course of the nation for us, implementing policies and committing actions that offend the vast majority of the American people.

I stand before you tonight, with sadness and also with hope that, through your work, you in the media, we are grateful to you for being here in the way that you are, that through your work, the conscience of America may yet be awakened to the tragedy that's happening behind those walls, and may take the action necessary to see that it never happens again. Thank you so much for being here.

QUESTION: Father frank, Father Frank, in Spanish please, Father Frank. Will you please tell us in Spanish. (SPEAKING IN SPANISH)

PAVONE: Yes, that'll be all right. Can someone translate for me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Father Frank will take a couple questions.

PAVONE: Yes, I would be glad to take a question.


PAVONE: Now, not yet. But I look forward to doing so.

QUESTION: What was her physical condition?

COOPER: Do you know who this is?

PAVONE: I saw Terri in February. And I could certainly tell the difference in her condition now. She looks much worse predictably than she did then. But I was -- I was just -- the impression that you get whether you see her is just sadness. Why is this person lying here and we can't give her a cup of water?

QUESTION: Father Frank, where do you and the family go from here? What is your next move?

PAVONE: Well, we're doing right now. Through you, through your assistance, bringing -- continue to bring this to the attention of the American people, because people don't know about the facts of this case. When people talk, about, we should let her die. Well, until we started starving her, she wasn't dying. What are you talking about, let her die. Well, we don't want extraordinary medical intervention.

You know, when you and I come back from dinner, we don't say I just had my last medical treatment. We say we just had dinner, I just had a meal. Feeding a person is not medical treatment. And yet, for some 20 years now, in this country, we have had medical societies defining the kind of tube feeding that has sustained Terri as a medical treatment. It's not a medical treatment, it's feeding. It's feeding.

What do we do from here? We continue to plead. We continue to pray. We continue to educate. And again no matter what happens to Terri, you can be sure a movement has started here. In this place, at this moment, a new movement has started. And we're not going to see the end of this very soon.

QUESTION: How much more difficult is it getting for the family to walk over there? I mean, Mary's stopped visiting for the last few days?

PAVONE: I have to defer to them about that. I just want to say in reference to that, that this family is amazing. This kind of spiritual strength, the kind of faith, the kind of endurance that they have is something that I have rarely seen in my ministry as a priest.

And I travel the nation. Our Priests for Life organization is a pro-life organization that ministers to the 19,000 Catholic parishes across the country. You may be interested to know that just prior to Good Friday last week, I sent out a fax to every priest in the country with reflections on Terri's situation and I heard from many of them, that they preached about Terri and her -- and the injustice that's being inflected upon her. And we will continue to preach and to lead our people in prayer, not only for Terri, but for all who are likewise vulnerable.

QUESTION: Did you see her speak to George Felos inside of the hospice?

PAVONE: I did not. But if I speak with him, if I speak to Michael...

They cut out the last bit here, but what Reverend Pavone went on to say was that if he saw Michael and Felos, he would have no hesitation in calling them “murderers.”