Explaning Purgatory

The question often come up from non-Catholics. What's up with that Purgatory thing? How do we explain it?
The Catholic Church has always taught that purgatory is where one is cleansed of venial sins, imperfections, and the temporal punishment due to mortal sin that has been forgiven in the sacrament of confession. This fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith is unfortunately denied and ridiculed by Protestant sects, who proclaim that the word purgatory along with the concept of this dogma is no where to be found in the Bible. Protestants also assert that the early Christians never mentioned let alone believed in this transitional place of purification. It is true that the word purgatory does not appear in Holy Scripture, but if this reasoning is used to dispel purgatory, one would have to deny two pillars of the Christian faith, the Trinity and the Incarnation, because neither one of these words is present in the Bible. What about this doctrine being revealed in the Word of God? On this matter, Protestants are sadly mistaken. The Old and New Testaments unequivocally refer to purgatory. Here are two examples, "It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." (2 Mac 12: 46) and "For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire."(1 Cor 3:13 -15) Finally, is there evidence that the early Christians believed in purgatory? One needs to look no further than the prayers offered for the dead that were etched into the walls of the catacombs and the supplications found in the early Masses. Also a multitude of writings exist from the early Church Fathers such as Augustine, Tertullian, Origen, Jerome, and Ambrose that describe an intermediate state after death; a way station on the path to heaven. Tertullian stated, "A woman, after the death of her husband ... prays for his soul and asks that he may, while waiting, find rest; and that he may share in the first resurrection. And each year, on the anniversary of his death, she offers the sacrifice." [A.D. 216]). The early Christians obviously stressed the importance of issuing prayers for the dead and such prayers only make sense if they believed in a third place, one other than heaven or hell.

So if purgatory is taught in the Bible and the early Christians believed in it, why do Protestants deny it’s existence? The answer is that Protestant theology does not accept the idea that sins are truly forgiven, but maintains that once a person believes and accepts Jesus as savior their sins will be covered by Christ's righteousness and God only seeing the perfection of His Son will declare the sinner to be justified or saved even though in reality their soul remains in a state of mortal sin. The problem with this fabricated theology is people are given a false assurance of salvation which has no need of Christ’s sanctifying grace bestowed through His seven sacraments, prayers of intercession, works of charity and love, or the purification of purgatory. Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant Reformation, summed it up best when he said," Sin boldly but believe more boldly. Let your faith be greater than your sin. . . Sin will not destroy us in the reign of the Lamb, although we were to commit fornication a thousand times in one day." (Letter to Melanchton, August 1, 1521)

Catholicism on the other hand containing the fullness of the truth places the emphasis on Christ’s sanctifying or saving grace working within man. Sin is truly forgiven through Christ’s sacraments leaving only concupiscence and weakness. Sanctifying grace within the believer makes good works acceptable to God. Sanctifying grace within the believer makes him acceptable to God. Catholicism understands it is inconceivable to suggest that the perfect justice and truth of God would be compromised by declaring a person to be saved, if in fact their soul remained in a corrupted state. The Bible tells us that nothing defiled can come into heaven. "But nothing unclean shall enter [heaven]"(Rev 21:27) Catholicism unlike the Protestant sects is not a religion of self salvation but one of redemption through the cross. The Church proclaims that Christ paid the price for our sins by His crucifixion, and correctly teaches that through the grace of God, Christians are given the strength to pick up their cross daily and follow Jesus and in doing so complete what is lacking in His afflictions to aid the Church militant on earth and those suffering in purgatory. "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church" (Col 1:24) The idea that Christ would stand in ones place and judge Himself is not only absurd but contrary to the Bible. Everyone like it or not will stand alone before Christ and be judged. "All of us have a scrutiny to undergo before Christ's judgement-seat, for each to reap what his mortal life has earned, good or ill, according to his deeds" (2 Cor 5:10) Finally, God’s Word proclaims that sins are truly forgiven through the sacraments of confession, baptism, and the anointing of the sick. "... If we confess our sins: He is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity." (1 Jn 1:8) "Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins..."(Acts 22:16) "Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil ... and if he is in sin, they shall be forgiven him."(Jm 5:14)

Purgatory makes sense because a soul can not just be declared clean, but actually be clean. After all, if a guilty soul is merely “covered,” if its sinful state still exists but is officially ignored, it is still unclean. Likewise, "covering" a soul won't purify it; its dirty state remains and is not eligible to enter heaven until it is cleansed by fire in PURGATORY.

Define Equality

Ten years after a landmark U.N. conference adopted a platform aimed at global equality for women, the United States is demanding that a declaration issued by a follow-up meeting make clear that women are not guaranteed a right to abortion. Starting Monday, a high-level U.N. meeting attended by over 100 countries and 6,000 advocates for women's causes will be taking stock of what countries have done to implement the 150-page landmark platform of action adopted at the 1995 U.N. women's conference in Beijing to achieve equality of the sexes.

But at an informal closed-door meeting on Thursday, the United States said it could not accept the declaration because of its concerns that the Beijing platform legalized the right to abortion as a human right, according to several participants.
On Friday, the United States proposed an amendment to the draft declaration that would reaffirm the Beijing platform and declaration - but only "while reaffirming that they do not create any new international human rights, and that they do not include the right to abortion," according to the text obtained by The Associated Press.

The Beijing platform calls for governments to end discrimination against women and close the gender gap in 12 critical areas including health, education, employment, political participation and human rights.
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Flat Broke and BUSted

NEVERMIND: Gov. Ed G. Rendell today announced he would transfer enough money to the Port Authority to avoid tomorrow's scheduled fare increase and next week's scheduled service cuts.

A fare increase takes effect tomorrow and the most severe service cuts in the Port Authority's 41-year-history are scheduled for Sunday, the latest repercussion of its growing money problems.
That is barring a last-minute reprieve from Gov. Ed Rendell, whose staff hinted over the weekend that he may tap federal highway funds for the third time in two years as a stopgap measure. An announcement could come as soon as today.
Unless circumstances change, however, 22 bus routes and the 52A Allentown light rail route are to be discontinued as part of an overall 12 percent service reduction.
Dozens of other routes will no longer operate on Saturdays or Sundays or, in some cases, on either day.
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Keep Marching Oblivian is in Sight

The Allegheny County Democratic Committee snubbed City Council veterans William Peduto and Sala Udin in the run-up to the municipal primary May 17.
They also tapped county Councilman Wayne Fontana as their preferred choice to run for Auditor General Jack Wagner's former state Senate seat, and gave seven Common Pleas Court hopefuls, including city Controller Tom Flaherty, an early break from a large pack of judicial nominees.
In the biggest local race, Bob O'Connor won his first party endorsement for mayor after losing the party's backing to incumbent Mayor Tom Murphy in 1997 and 2001. "My message is getting through. It's resonating," said O'Connor, whose campaign has thrown free meals for party officials in all 32 city wards the past few weeks. (Free Food! Ya got my Vote Billy!)
For the complete score card click here.

Spector: The Wolf in Elephants Clothing

According to the United States Constitution, Article II, Section 2, judicial nominations are allowed "by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate." In interviews withthe Washington press, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R?-Pa.) seems to believe that "advice" means only from liberal Democrats such as, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). As for the "consent" part, Sen. Specter instead endorses the unprecedented filibustering of Senate Democrats, largely blaming President Bush and Republicans for the current stand-off. Sen. Specter, who would not have won reelection without the help of President Bush, now seems determined to allow Democrats to run roughshod over the committee he chairs.

Following the 2004 election, when Specter's grasp on the Judiciary chairmanship seemed shaky, he promised in writing to support the President's nominees and support a rule change on judicial nominations, if necessary. In his interviews, Specter, staying true to form, announced he would probably renege on those promises. He is hesitant to support the judges President Bush re-nominated and specifically made clear that he is in no hurry to reconsider the appellate court nomination of William H. Pryor, Jr. Judge Pryor has been endorsed by numerous people and newspapers of all political stripes. Yet the Democrats, now emboldened by Sen. Specter, have blocked his nomination due to his strong religious beliefs. The Republican Party establishment fought hard to keep Sen. Specter as Judiciary chairman. Now that they have him, what are they going to do about him?


A judge gave Terri Schiavo's husband permission to remove the brain-damaged woman's feeding tube in three weeks, handing him a victory in his effort to carry out what he says were his wife's wishes not to be kept alive artificially.
The ruling by Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer will allow the husband, Michael Schiavo, to order the tube removed at 1 p.m. on March 18. In the meantime, the woman's parents, who want her kept alive, are expected to ask another court to block the order from taking effect.
The judge wrote that he was no longer comfortable granting delays in the long-running family feud, which has been going on for nearly seven years and has been waged in every level of Florida's court system. He said the case must end.

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The Protestant Pope

While Pope John Paul II lies in Rome's Gemelli Hospital, Christianity - both Catholic and Protestant - is experiencing a turmoil he himself had helped trigger.
There is a link between his dogged effort to undo the perversions of Western thinking going back four centuries and the harsh admonition of the world's Anglican primates to their North American brethren to stay away from their Consultative Council meetings until the next Lambeth Conference in 2008.
The link is this: Nobody has been more effective in combating the glorification of man's autonomy - including in the churches - than this pope. And glorifying autonomy at the expense of Scripture was of course the offense that landed the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church in Canada in trouble with its more traditionalist sister denominations around the globe: to wit, their anger over the consecration of an overtly homosexual priest as bishop of New Hampshire and the blessing of same-sex marriages before some altars in North America.
To be sure, the stunning ascent of faithful Anglican leaders such as Archbishop Peter Akinola of Abuja in Nigeria led to orthodoxy's victory at the four-day primate's conference in Newry, Northern Ireland.
But from an all-Christian perspective, the pivotal figure in the counter-cultural revolution engrossing the entire world is John Paul II. This shows in his newest book, "Memory and Identity," which has caused outrage among those who simply did not get its basic philosophical line of thought.
The pope has been accused of putting the Holocaust on the same plane with abortion. Even a cursory glance at this book shows that this was not at all the intention of this rigorous philosophical thinker who knows only too well that even the most evil acts are unconnected and therefore incomparable.
But they do have a common source, and to John Paul II this source was the Occident's general acceptance of the dictum by the French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650), "Cogito ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am), which confined philosophy to the prison of solipsism (in its original philosophical meaning: moral egoism).
In the philosophical ruminations of his new book, he calls this narrowing of Christian anthropology to one mental experiment - namely thinking (as opposed to understanding) -- the fundamental flaw of modernity.
It was "reduction of God to the contents of human conscience" that opened the floodgates to hell - in the shape of tyranny and the bloody playgrounds of ideologies.
And then, "evil is pervasive even in liberal political systems," explained Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, as he explained the pontiff's thoughts on the root courses of the Holocaust and abortion, the latter being, from the Christian point of view, an evil decided in a perfectly democratic manner by parliaments or courts.
Man's solipsism lies behind these lethal decisions, as it lies behind the disregard by North American Anglicans of the significance of God's law - the Mosaic Law and the natural law written upon man's heart - in Judeo-Christian anthropology.
To believing Jews and Christians, man is not just man because he discovers that he can think. What distinguishes the human being from the rest of creation is his or her knowledge, thanks to revelation, of being created in God's image.
In the 400 years since Descartes, this idea has become unfashionable, with bloody consequences. But it has not become unfashionable in the global South, where Christianity is thriving, and the pope's propagation of a Culture of Life seems to make it acceptable again in parts of the global North.
We don't know if the pontiff was given the news from the Anglican meeting in Newry, Northern Ireland. But if he was, it might just have made him smile.

Get Well Pontiff

Please pray for Pope John Paul II. He has returned to the hospital and underwent a tracheotomy to assist his breathing. You can send you well wishes here.

Terri Schaivo : Vatican Appeal

A Vatican official launched an appeal to save Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman whose husband wants her off life-support care. On Wednesday a Florida judge ordered the tube delivering food and water to Schiavo kept in place another 48 hours. Pinellas County Circuit Judge George Greer said he needed time to consider legal challenges raised by the woman's parents, including the possibility that her husband, Michael Schiavo, was unfit to act as her guardian. In statements on Vatican Radio, Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: "If Mr. Schiavo succeeds legally in causing the death of his wife, this not only would be tragic in itself, but would be a grave step toward the legal approval of euthanasia in the United States." He added: "I would like to remind everyone in this connection, about all that the Holy Father has said in past days to the Pontifical Academy for Life, confirming that the quality of life is not interpreted as economic success, beauty and physical pleasure, but consists in the supreme dignity of the creature made in the image and likeness of God. "No one can be the arbiter of life except God himself."

Catholics Get No Respect

UPDATE: Alan Wurtzel, Chief Executive for NBC’s Department of Broadcast Standards and Practices, pledged to review the episode in question. He called today to say that this episode will not air again.

Original Post:
During the February 22 episode of the NBC-TV sitcom, “Committed,” two non-Catholics are mistakenly given Holy Communion at a Catholic funeral Mass. Nate, who is Jewish, and Bowie, a Protestant, don’t know what to do with the Eucharist, so they make several failed attempts to get rid of it. For example, they try slipping it into the pocket of a priest, dropping it on a tray of cheese and crackers, etc.

At one point, the priest, who is portrayed as not knowing the difference between the Host and a cracker, goes to grab the “cracker” from a tray of appetizers; he initially balks when he discovers that it is the last one. Then he changes his mind, saying, “Oh, what the hell.” By far the most offensive scene occurs when Nate and Bowie accidentally flush what they think is the Host down the toilet.

Now if you are not Catholic, you might say "What's the big deal?" Let me explain, that "Host" IS THE BODY OF JESUS! Not a piece of bread, not a cracker, it is the actual body of Christ. Knowing that, NBC has taken the center of all Christian faith JESUS and his sacrifice and flushed it down the toilet. I hope their ratings follow suit.

The Politics of Pandering

I got a call not long ago from a reporter from USA Today asking about Santourn and Spector. She wanted to know what listeners are saying and how the two unlikely partners are viewed by floks here in western Pennsylvaina. Spector has had a close watch on him by conservative groups after he made some remarks about blocking judical nominees. At the same time, Sen. Santourm is also on the line for his support of Spector. That could impact a Santourm re-election bid.

Yet Pennsylvania pro-family Senator Rick Santorum continues to defend his decision last year to back pro-choice and pro-homosexual GOP Senator Arlen Specter for re-election. Santorum was challenged on that choice during a recent gathering of conservatives in Washington, DC. But Santorum did not back down as he answered the challenge. "I have one response to that: fifty-five -- that's my response," he said. "We had a plan in place to get as many Republican senators elected as possible, because the more Republican senators we have, the better chance we can pass legislation." The plan, the senator continued, was a simple one: "Minimize the problems we have in 'blue states' with open seats and tough races, and maximize the opportunities we have in 'red states' in November." The explanation did not seem to satisfy many of the conservative activists who are not happy with Senator Santorum. We shall see how this one plays out.

Adelphia: Change of Porn Plans

Adelphia, the large cable company that began this month to offer hard-core pornographic movies on its system, has stopped the practice and backed off its plans. Earlier this month, Adelphia, the fifth-largest cable provider, began offering the porn to its Southern California markets. In response, several pro-family organizations, including the American Family Association and Concerned Women for America, began campaigns to target the company. Those groups now are declaring victory.

Robert Knight, director of CWA's Culture & Family Institute, said in a statement " This stuff is illegal. Obscenity is not protected under the First Amendment," Knight said. "We'd give Adelphia a pat on the back, except that they should not have planned to break the law in the first place. Nobody who peddles porn cares a whit about women and children, or the men who get addicted and destroy their marriages and families."

The March to Oblivian Continues

It was not a good evening for Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the NAACP, and the Congressional Black Caucus at the Heritage Foundation Thursday as a panel concluded these reputed icons "have utterly failed to provide moral leadership in the Black community and have become the tools for extremist political agendas." The panel of conservative Black Americans called for the reinstitution of principled black leadership in the tradition of Booker T. Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny (BOND) and The Heritage Foundation co-sponsored the historic conference – "Responding To The Call: The New Black Vanguard Conference" - to address what they see as a crisis in leadership and "the spiraling moral and physical decline taking place within America's inner cities."
Panel moderator Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, Founder and President of BOND, told the audience and his fellow panel members that his organization annually rallies against Jessie Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH, but did not bother to hold the event this year because of "Jackson's growing irrelevancy."

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Terri Schiavo UPDATE

An attorney for the parents of Terri Schiavo say Florida's social services agency is seeking a 60-day delay in the removal of the woman's feeding tube while it investigates new allegations of her abuse and neglect.
Matt Davis, with the law firm representing Bob and Mary Schindler, said Thursday the 11-page confidential document was shared with attorneys in the life-or-death legal battle between the Schindlers and their daughter's husband, Michael Schiavo. Circuit Court Judge George Greer already is expected to rule on whether to grant a longer stay in connection with other filings in the case.

Michael Schiavo is currently blocked from ordering the removal of his wife's feeding tube until 5 p.m. Friday. He and the Schindlers have been at odds over the right-to-die case for more than seven years.
Davis said the document appears to echo complaints made publicly by the Schindlers that their daughter has not had adequate therapy and medical care and has been deprived of other rights by her husband.
He said the document does not name a perpetrator, but the Schindlers have repeatedly accused their son-in-law of mistreating their incapacitated daughter.

Bad Church, Go Sit In The Corner

Anglican leaders struggling to resolve explosive differences over homosexuality have asked the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to temporarily withdraw from a key council of their global communion because of the election of a gay bishop in the United States and the blessing of same-sex unions there and in Canada.The request was made following a meeting in Northern Ireland that the Anglican leaders, or primates, convened on the crisis this week.

The Episcopal Church, which is the U.S. province of Anglicanism, precipitated the most serious rift in the communion's history when it consecrated V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire in November 2003. Robinson lives with his longtime male partner. Conservatives have also criticized North American dioceses for allowing blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples. The North Americans have been asked not to attend the next meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council.

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Understanding the Misunderstanding

Catholics and Protestants disagree about the relationship between faith and works on salvation, however, both agree in two important facts: Faith is absolutely necessary for salvation and we are absolutely commanded by God to do good works. Both these two points are unmistakably clear in Scripture, and both Protestants and Catholics give to faith in Christ a unique rule on salvation, and both try and actually do good works of evangelization and missionary work, etc. Protestants and Catholics agree a sin can not be erased with good works, but it is forgiven by confessing the sin. One misunderstanding is that the word "faith" is used in different sense by Protestants and Catholics. For Protestants, saving faith is a faith which expresses itself through love and it is the same thing as when a Catholic says that we are saved by faith and works of charity. Luther used "faith" in the broad sense of the person’s acceptance of Jesus Christ. It includes grace, repentance, faith, hope and works of love. Catholics use "faith" in a more specific sense. Actually the word "faith" for a Protestant is like the words "faith", "hope" and "charity" put together for a Catholic. When Protestants and Catholics who know and believe the Bible discuss the issue sincerely, it is amazing how quickly and easily they come to understand and agree with each other! So why are we so divided over the faith alone issue?

Protestants need to understand that the Catholic formula "salvation by faith, hope, and charity" is equivalent to what they mean by "faith alone." And Catholics need to be understand that the Protestant formula "faith alone" is equivalent to what they mean by "faith, hope, and charity."
Otherwise, the formula itself is unbiblical. The phrase "faith alone" occurs exactly once in the Bible, and there it is rejected: "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone." (James 2:24)

The Double Standard of Equality

The head of a Virginia pro-family group is angry that a lesbian was allowed to pray for "gay rights" in the House of Delegates, where the name of Jesus is not allowed to be spoken. Debra Peevey, an openly homosexual pastor, recently used her invitation to pray in the House to condemn lawmakers who opposed granting special privileges to homosexuals. The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- whose jurisdiction covers Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina -- ruled that the name of Jesus could not be mentioned during a state-sponsored prayer. Joe Glover of the Family Policy Network says he believes there is a double standard when Jesus cannot be mentioned but a lesbian can pray for a sinful lifestyle to gain acceptance. "But in the same Fourth Circuit ... one cannot pray a prayer seeking the righteous, holy face of God, who condemns such sin, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ," says Glover. "This is a double standard; the court was wrong in making this decision -- and hopefully at some point the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn that wrong-headed decision." In her prayer, Peevey prayed that lawmakers do not "use their power to harm gays and lesbians."

A Republican Enters the Race!

Republican Joe Weinroth, a Downtown attorney and member of the GOP state committee has accepted the challenge of running for Mayor of Pittsburgh. There has not been a Republican mayor in the city in 71 years, every elected city official from the mayor down to the school board is a Democrat and registered Republicans are outnumbered by Democrats 5-to-1. That's also means the only ones you can blame for the disasterous mess the city is the Democrats. Let's see if the residents of the city of Pittsburgh are finally fed up with being abused, over taxed, and used as pawns. Good luck Joe, you'll need it!

Terri Schiavo Update

Thanks to everyone who has followed and taken action in this story. You may have noticed the banner for Terrisfight.org is missing at the top of Powerblog. IT's because the website has been so overloaded with traffic it shut down. I know they are working on it and I continue to get update via email and fax. In will post information as it becomes available. Hat's off to Gov. Bush in Flordia who once again stepped in to help Terri. Below is the latest and if you would like more information on what you can do to help please read the previous posts.

"The administration of Gov. Jeb Bush, already forcefully rebuked by the Florida Supreme Court for trying to override judicial orders and block the removal of a brain-damaged woman's feeding tubes, launched itself back into the case Wednesday by asking for a delay to investigate abuse allegations. The surprise request by Florida's Department of Children and Families to intervene in the case of Terri Schiavo stirred an already emotional atmosphere. A woman broke with courtroom decorum and called out "Amen" when an attorney for Schiavo's parents, who are trying to stop her husband from removing the feeding tubes, announced in Pinellas County Circuit Court that the department has asked for a delay. "

"Attorneys for the Schindlers have raised half a dozen legal issues that they say must be resolved before a decision about pulling the feeding tubes is made. Among them are arguments that Michael Schiavo should be removed as guardian, that Pope John Paul II's labeling of euthanasia as "a sin" should be weighed by the courts because Terri Schiavo was a practicing Catholic, and that new scientific developments suggest she might be "minimally conscious," rather than in a vegetative state. "

Peduto Now In

Saying he wants to "restore hope" in Pittsburgh's government and future growth, City Councilman William Peduto officially announced he is running for mayor this morning.
The 40-year-old Point Breeze man laid out a broad platform that included cutting government spending, using community input to develop city neighborhoods, preserving buildings and the environment, and cracking down on graffiti and other nuisance crimes.

Team 88 - Gov. Swann

Gov. Swann?

Last year Former Steelers star Lynn Swann ran all over the Keystone State supporting President Bush and his re-election. His former team mate Franco Harris was doing the same for the other team of John Kerry. Swann was even a guest on the Marty Minto Show and we asked him about his own political aspirations. At the time he did not rule anything out but he also did not commit to anything. Well, all that has changed.

Lynn Swann has filed papers forming a campaign committee for governor, his first official step toward a possible campaign for the 2006 election. That means he can begin raising money for a campaign. With his connections, it should be interesting to see who chooses to back him. Swann, in his statement, promised to begin "a conversation with the people of Pennsylvania." "I will spend time introducing myself to communities across the commonwealth, as I consider my personal decision regarding the upcoming gubernatorial race, we will also explore the potential political and financial support for my candidacy."
Swann named his committee Team 88, the number he wore during his Hall of Fame career. Swann faces at least two prospective opponents for the GOP nomination next year -- state Sen. Jeffrey Piccola of Harrisburg and former Lt. Gov. William Scranton III. The nominee is expected to take on Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell in his bid for a second term.

Would you vote for Lynn Swann for Govenor?

UPDATE: Terri Schiavo

Thanks to everyone who has given prayer and support in any way to Terri and her family. It's has worked and Terri is alive due to the efforts. The Judge has granted another 48 hours to consider the case. Terrisfight.org has been so overloaded that is has been off and on so the banner, links and offical information may not be available at times. Please continue to pray and keep up the plea for Terri's life. Here is the statement from her family.

"The Schindler family are encouraged at the outcome of today's hearing before Judge Greer and are overwhelmed at the public outpouring of care and concern being shown to them and their daughter, Terri Schiavo.

The Schindler family also welcomes the involvement of Florida's Department of Children and Families (the state's health and human services agency) in their investigation into serious and detailed allegations of abuse and to ensure that appropriate care and treatment of Terri and patients like her is being delivered.

We ask that you please continue to think and pray for them and for Judge Greer as he takes this matter under advisement. Terri's life and the lives of many disabled, elderly and vulnerable people in Florida hang in the balance. "

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Saving a Child: Terri's Father Speaks

From Bob Schindler Sr. :

By now you have probably heard about a young woman who is threatened with starvation in Florida.
That young woman is my daughter, Terri. In 1990, through circumstances which are shrouded in mystery (and may involve a criminal act by Terri's estranged husband), my daughter was left severely brain-damaged.
But before I go any further, I must put an end to the lies and misinformation that are circulating around the country through the media concerning my daughter's condition.
Contrary to anything you may have heard, Terri is NOT brain dead; Terri is NOT in a coma; she is NOT in a "persistent vegetative state;" nor is she on ANY life-support system.
Terri Schiavo respondsto her mother's touch
Terri laughs, Terri cries, she moves, and she makes child-like attempts at speech with her mother and me. Sometimes she will say "Mom" or "Dad" or "yeah" when we ask her a question. When I kiss her hello or goodbye, she looks at me and "puckers up" her lips.
This may not seem like much to you, but it means everything to Terri's mother and me. It tells us she is still here, she still knows us, and with therapy and time she can have some level of recovery.
I know that there are some hard hearted people who believe that due to my daughters condition, she is better off dead. Words cannot describe the pain and anger such sentiments cause us. This is our daughter, our little girl, and even in her disabled condition, she still has the right to life and the right to be loved and cared for by her family.
Why, you may ask, is Terry in danger of death by starvation?
It is a long and outrageous story, but I'll give it to you as briefly as I can.
After the "incident" that left Terry in this condition, her husband Michael Schiavo sued various members of the medical community for money, saying that they did not treat or diagnose her properly at an early stage, and that he needed this money to provide for Terri's therapy and rehabilitation and care.
After lengthy court battles, he finally won upwards of $1.7 million under the guise of caring for our daughter, and then to our horror, he immediately began spending the money on himself and his Playboy lifestyle.
Terri's estranged husband Michael Schiavo has been living with another woman for years, and has two children by her. He is determined to see Terri dead. Why? We believe it's because he gets to keep whatever money is left... and he may have even darker motives than that.
To add insult to all of this injury toward my daughter, Michael Schiavo is still her "legal husband" and therefore is her "guardian." And since they are not legally divorced, he controls whatever health care she will and will not get. We are not even allowed to know if she is getting aspirin.
In 1993 my family initiated litigation against Michael Schiavo solely for the purpose of acquiring medical, physical and neurological assistance for our daughter Terri. The litigation escalated in 1998 when Michael Schiavo petitioned the court to stop Terri from receiving food and water, thereby starving her to death.
In filing this legal action, he retained the services of a high profile euthanasia attorney and the financial backing of powerful euthanasia organizations. He also used Terri's medical rehabilitation money to underwrite much of the legal expenses associated with his effort to starve our daughter to death.
We know that he has spent nearly $500,000 of Terri's money in attorney's fees for just one attorney trying to obtain a court order to have Terri starved to death. The very money that was supposed to be used for Terri's rehabilitation is being used to have her killed.
We very quickly discovered it was impossible for us to compete with the abundance of financial and legal resources the pro-death organizations were providing Micheal Schiavo in their effort to kill Terri. They are pouring time and effort into her starvation because they want to use this case to further the agenda of legalized euthanasia.
My wife and I are not wealthy people. Throughout those years, we did not have any large organizations trying to help rescue our daughter. Consequently, we had to rely on the generosity of attorneys who were willing to offer their legal expertise at no cost or at reduced fees.
The bottom line is that we are in the final weeks or months of our struggle to rescue our daughter from an untimely death by starvation. Death by starvation is very slow, and extremely painful. As you must know, it is against the law to deliberately starve an animal to death. There are members of the Florida court who would not treat a dog the way they plan to treat my daughter.
At this point we must pull out all the stops in our fight to rescue our daughter.
As parents, we are desperate to save our daughter's life. As people who love life, we are determined to deprive the euthanasia advocates of successfully legalizing this form of homicide. We believe that their efforts to kill Terri are designed to set a precedent for the future eradication of defenseless disabled human beings. I was alive when Americans fought the Nazis; I do not want my daughter to meet the same fate of thousands of disabled people in Nazi Germany, and I do not want our country to go down that same dark path.
Friend, though we have never met, I'm asking you for your help. We desperately need your financial assistance to help our family continue the battle to keep our daughter from being starved to death. There are so many expenses in a case like this it is mind-boggling and overwhelming.
Please click below to make a contribution now:
Our adversaries believe that by our family's financial attrition and difficulties, they will attain their objective of killing our daughter. Presently, Terri's starvation may only be a few weeks away, unless we find the financial resources to prevent this atrocity from becoming a reality.
I implore you to please help us. We are writing to you, because we believe you have a heart for justice and mercy. I'm asking you to put yourself in my shoes, and then do whatever you can to help our family. Whether it is $10 or $1000, we are desperate for the resources to fight this battle for our daughter's life at this critical juncture. Please do whatever you can, and forward this e-mail to any friends or family that you have who you think might be interested in saving Terri's life.
I thank you for your time, your concern, and I solicit your prayers for Terri and our entire family. These have been very trying times for us all.

Bob Schindler Sr.

Tell It Like It Is

Pope Calls Gay MarriagePart of 'Ideology of Evil'
By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) - Homosexual marriages are part of "a new ideology of evil" that is insidiously threatening society, Pope John Paul says in a new book published Tuesday. In "Memory and Identity," the Pope also calls abortion a "legal extermination" comparable to attempts to wipe out Jews and other groups in the 20th century. He also reveals that he is convinced the Turkish gunman who shot him in 1981 did not act alone and suggests that the former Communist Bloc may have been behind the plot to kill him.

The 84-year-old Pontiff's book, a highly philosophical and intricate work on the nature of good and evil, is based on conversations with philosopher friends in 1993 and later with some of his aides. In one section about the role of lawmakers, the Pope talks about gay marriages when he refers to "pressures" on the European Parliament to allow them."It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man," he writes. The Pope's fifth book for mass circulation, issued by Italian publisher Rizzoli, sparked controversy in Germany and elsewhere after Jewish groups protested against leaked excerpts comparing the Holocaust to abortion. In at least two sections of the book, the Pope talks about the Nazi attempt to exterminate Jews and the wholesale slaughter of political opponents by Communist regimes after World War II.

The Impossible Dream

Hats off to Chief Executive Dan Onorato for heading in the right direction. Now let's see what part of famtasy becomes real.

Setting property values for tax purposes in Allegheny County and across Pennsylvania is so hopelessly unfair and difficult that a new method for financing local government should be found, Chief Executive Dan Onorato said Tuesday.
"I do support abolishing the property tax, especially as it relates to funding the public schools," Onorato said in a meeting with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial board.
Onorato said he also will back state legislation this year to extend some county tax breaks to school and municipal tax bills, and to further limit the amount of money a taxing body can collect after a reassessment.

Full Story

No Name Calling

Today in a faxed statement to Pittsburgh's Mayor Tom Murphy, the American Family Association of PA (AFA of PA) expressed concern that he had proclaimed January 24-28 as "No Name Calling Week" for Pittsburgh's schools. Even though no schools participated, the door was opened by the mayor for city school children in grades 4-8 to learn that 'gay is okay.' No Name Calling Week" has a nice sound to it, but one must look behind the scenes to see who is pulling the ropes.

The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is the main organizer behind the week and their goal is to teach children that homosexuality is simply a safe, alternative lifestyle. On January 13 GLSEN was one of 22 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender organizations that signed a "Unity Statement" advocating, among other things, same-sex marriage and LGBT inclusive sexuality education. In September 2003 GLSEN made available to the nation's high schools " Exploring the Debate Over Marriage Rights for Same-Sex Couples" curriculum.

"Parents know that bullying is not acceptable and that all children should be protected from those who would bully. But they do not want their children taught to view as normal a lifestyle that they know is wrong and dangerous. They do not want their children taught that same-sex marriage is equal to one man, one woman marriage," president of the AFA of PA, Diane Gramley, stated.

The goal of any anti-bullying program should be to stop bullying of any sort -- not to single certain groups out to portray them as more of a target of bullying than others. Schools are especially wise to leave the 'gay' and 'lesbian' issue to parents. The AFA of PA strongly disagrees with Stephen Glassman, chair of the PA Human Relations Commission, that the words 'gay,' lesbian,' 'bisexual,' and 'transgendered,' must be included as part of the program.

Gramley went on to say, "Steve Glassman is mistaken to say these words must be included in the program. The addition of these words seeks to normalize the homosexual lifestyle. Why would one want to normalize such a dangerous lifestyle? True compassion would be to be honest about the dangers of engaging in the homosexual lifestyle. On the other hand, it is bullying to tell children that they are 'homophobic' if they do not view homosexuality as normal."

There are numerous news accounts of homosexual students who have been bullied, sued their schools and won. But many times the opposite is true and those with an opposing view are the ones bullied into silence. In October 2004 a federal district judge ordered the Ann Arbor (Michigan) Public Schools to pay $102,738 in attorney fees and costs because school officials prevented a student from expressing her religious views against homosexuality. And lets not forget, also in October, the eleven Christians in Philadelphia who were charged with 'ethnic intimidation' and faced 47 years in prison and up to $90,000 in fines for reading Scripture and holding signs opposing the homosexual lifestyle. Who actually is being bullied in these cases?

A portion of the letter to Mayor Murphy follows:

"This is the second year that they (GLSEN) have used the anti-bullying mantra to get into schools with "No Name Calling Week." Why target children this young with the 'gay is okay' message? All children need to be protected from bullying . . . period! Certain groups should not be targeted. In reality, teaching children that they may be homosexual if they have friends of the same sex is a form of bullying. Those who are involved in a homosexual relationship are more prone to substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and other STDs, eating and psychological disorders. According to the Oxford University International Journal of Epidemiology, men who have sex with men shorten their lives by up to 20 years. These statistics are what should be taught children. Not that 'gay' students are more likely to be bullied nor that they are born that way and their lifestyle is normal.

There is no doubt that GLSEN is targeting grades 4-8 with 'No Name Calling Week' and their message of tolerance for lifestyles and family structures that parents may not approve. The AFA of PA made three requests of GLSEN to provide a list of all the schools in Pennsylvania that participated -- we are still awaiting its arrival. Apparently GLSEN will not tolerate anyone making a simple inquiry into the names of schools that are participating.

On January 13 a joint unity statement was released by the leaders of 22 national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organizations. GLSEN's name was among the twenty-two. The unity statement includes the following statements:

We must advocate for HIV/AIDS policies - including age-appropriate, LGBT-inclusive (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) comprehensive sexuality education . . . .
And we must continue our vigorous fight for the freedom to marry . . . ."

UPDATE: Terri Schiavo Update

UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!! The case of a severely brain-damaged woman remained locked in a legal stalemate Tuesday after an appeals court cleared the way for her husband to remove her feeding tube only to see a judge promptly block the removal for at least another day. PLEASE KEEP UP YOUR EFFORTS. SEE BELOW ON HOW YOU CAN HELP.

People from all over the country have been reading Powerblog! as part of the pro-life blogs network. I've had many suggestions from people on how we can help save this woman. I don't know what thw answer is, all I know is your help is urgently needed RIGHT NOW. Here is the latest:

Today, the courts rejected the pleas of Terri’s parents to stop her husband, Michael, from withholding food and water from her. He has promised to begin starving her tomorrow at 1 pm.Most of you are aware that Terri is not a "vegetable" or "brain-dead" as Michael and his lawyers claim, but responds to others and is aware of her surroundings. She laughs, smiles and, according to her nurses, has a small vocabulary.Terri is not on life support and is healthy. She needs help eating and is fed through a tube (helping someone eat and drink who is impaired has never been considered artificial life support).While Michael asserts he is carrying out Terri's wishes, he waited until after he received a large sum of money from a lawsuit against her doctors before making this claim . During the lawsuit, he alleged negligence and motivated a financial award with the potential cost of Terri’s rehabilitation.However, Terri has been denied rehabilitation that experts testify could allow her to eat and talk. The courts in Florida have consistently blocked appeals to give Terri proper tests and therapy that would improve her life. Terri may not have the capabilities she once had, but she is no less valuable and no less a person.

Here is what you can do to help Terri:
Pray for Terri and her family.

Blog - communicate the truth about what is going on and rally support for Terri and the Schindlers.

Visit BlogsforTerri ( http://www.blogsforterri.com/) for information and to join the team of blogs for Terri.

Deluge Gov. Jeb Bush with emails and phone calls. He has the power to intervene. Here is his contact information:
Governor Jeb Bush
850 / 488-4441
850 / 487-0801 (fax)

Support HB701(click here).

Important - Bypass the Mainstream Media - pledge support for a paid advertisement in the St. Petersburg Tribune to inform its 450,000 paid subscribers about what is really happening to Terri. [http://www.blogsforterri.com/pledge.php]

Your participation in help is desperately needed.

A Simple Prayer

Many of you have emailed and called requesting a copy of the prayer that we aired on Friday's show. So, here you go.....

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that. ...
We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism.
We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.
We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will, to open ask it in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen"

Don't Spill the Soup

The diners arrived at a nice Manhattan restaurant on a cold February night and stripped off coats, hats, gloves and scarves. They didn't stop there.
Skirts, shirts, pants, underwear and stockings all ended up stashed in plastic bags by the bar as the patrons got naked for the monthly "Clothing Optional Dinner." No Shoes, No Shirt, No Pants, No Problem.
The dinner was started by a group of New York nudists who wanted something a bit more elegant than the wilderness getaways and beach resorts they generally frequent.
Around 30 people arrived for the buffet dinner -- organizers specified no hot soup on the menu (THERE GOES MY TITLE!) -- most of them middle-aged, several married couples, some singles, the youngest perhaps in their 30s.
Health regulations mean staff must remain clothed even if they wanted to join in. (Tell the Chef to watch out for that bacon. It hurts!) And diners must bring something to sit on -- a towel or, for discerning women, an elegant silk scarf.
The restaurant's manager covered the windows to maintain privacy at the strictly private party. Extra heaters kept the temperature at a comfortable level for nudity.
Sherry Stafford, a petite and elegant 51-year-old with blond hair and high heels, brought brochures and videos advertising her travel business, Internaturally Travel.
One of the flyers was for a resort called "Hedonism II" whose slogan is "Be wicked for a week." But she said nudists should not be confused with swingers.
"Wearing clothes and going to church does not protect you from moral evil," Stafford said, lamenting what she saw as a tendency to demonize people just because they like to be naked.
Sandy, a slim woman in her 40s, said she never felt self-conscious about her body and was comfortable dining in the nude. Well, you can't smoke in the place but feel free to let it all hang out in the buffet line! I'll stick to the drive through thank you. Full Story

Under Attack

Here are some troubling stories about the continued decay of faith. More proof that faith is under attack from the INSIDE OUT!

Greek Church Proposes Urgent Reforms

Archbishop of Canterbury: Costs to Split Over Gay Bishops

Priest Convicted of Molesting Altar Boy

Finding the Lost

It happened again. A caller said she was raised in the Catholic Church but now she was a "Born Again Christian" and had shed her Catholic faith. I hear that all too often. "I was Catholic but now I'm Christian". I can understand from someone who has never been Catholic and has all the common misconceptions, but it really bothers me to hear those that have left the church in search of something else. Sometimes I blame the individual for not understanding the faith enough to embrace it. I think maybe they did not have a good teacher or maybe the lure of some emotional reaction to a modern worship service distracted them. How are faithful Catholics to deal with our brothers and sisters who now speak against the faith and in some cases ask us to join them in their abandonment?
The Lord tells us that "For the Son of Man came to came to save what was lost. If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them stray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains, and go in search of the one that has strayed? And if he happens to find it... he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so, it is not the will of your Father in heaven that a single one of these little ones should perish''(Matthew 18:11-14). The Catechism of the Catholic Church does not address the loss of these Catholics. Perhaps it is because the Church must trust in the apostolic spirit of her sons and daughters to catch them again in our nets before they slip away forever. But just how many "faithful Catholics" are left out there? Out of approximately sixty million nominal Catholics only 25% or so actually practice their faith by attending Sunday Mass regularly and confession yearly. The other 45 million Catholics are simply "sacrament" Catholics at key moments of their existence: baptism, marriage, wake, and funeral. Of course, there are probably millions of former Catholics who are not even on the books . Many millions of others, however, have openly and apparently definitively left the Church. They do not profess or live a prayerful sacramental life. They do not behave according to the teachings of the Church or see these teachings as authoritative or divine. Some pay lip service to the Christian creed by worshipping at mainstream liberal Protestant Churches. Millions of others have joined Evangelical and Fundamentalist denominations, or strange sects and cults, or free-standing mega-churches. They have discovered an emptiness in their lives that is filled by various forms of non-Catholic religious enthusiasms. Many have left, as they say, after "twelve years of Catholic education" and appear to have shed their Catholic beliefs as easily as taking off one's shoes. What is particularly troubling is to think of the sacrifices of those generations of faithful Catholics who both lived and handed down their Faith under difficult circumstances only to see it tossed away.
Why have these people left the Church? Ultimately they are responsible before God for their decisions. The Catechism, however, gives us some clues: "Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one's passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church's authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment... in moral conduct" (CCC 1792). It's is these defects that lead to rationalization and self-justification. Over time, this will lead to a loss of the virtues of faith, hope, and charity necessary for eternal life. God does not call us to judge but rather to understand, call, and welcome back the fallen-away. The Church exists ultimately to forgive sins through the application of Christ's merits through the sacraments. There is no such thing as a "good reason" to leave the Church. Those of us who remain in the true Church must listen, while at the same time be uncompromising in defense of the Gospel and the teachings of the Church. There are many roads to travel, we can only pray the lost find the right one back home.

In the Name of Free Speech and Tolerance SHUT UP!

A federal court ruled the city of Oakland had a right to bar two employees from posting a flier promoting traditional family values on an office bulletin board.
Employees Regina Rederford and Robin Christy posted the flier in response to an e-mail to city employees announcing formation of a gay and lesbian employee association. The two responded with a promotion of their own -- the start of an informal group that respects "the natural family, marriage and family values."
But supervisors Robert Bobb, then city manager, and Joyce Hicks, then deputy director of the Community and Economic Development Agency, ordered removal of the flier, stating it contained "statements of a homophobic nature" and promoted "sexual-orientation-based harassment," even though it made no mention of homosexuality.
A July 2003 lawsuit by Rederford and Christy claimed the city's anti-discrimination policy "promotes homosexuality" and "openly denounces Christian values."
U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker dismissed the case Tuesday, ruling the two women did not have their First Amendment rights violated.
Full Story

Devil 101

Worried about the lure of the devil, a Vatican-linked university on Thursday debuted its latest course offering: a class on Satanism, black magic and exorcism. The class for clergy and seminarians at Rome's Pontifical Academy "Regina Apostolorum" has arisen from alarm about Satanic practices among young people, especially in Italy. In one case in Italy in January, eight people believed to belong to a Satanic sect were ordered to stand trial for their alleged role in three ritual killings.
One of the victims was a 19-year-old girl stabbed to death in 1998. She may have been targeted because her killers believed she was a personification of the Virgin Mary, prosecutors allege. The suspects belonged to a heavy metal band called "Beasts of Satan." The Vatican is also concerned about a growing number of young people who develop personal forms of Satanism, outside the sects that are closely monitored by police. They often learn about the devil through the Internet. "It's a more spontaneous and hidden phenomenon, a problem of loneliness and isolation, a problem of emptiness, that is fulfilled by the values of Satanism," said one of the teachers, Carlo Climati, a specialist on youth culture and Satanism. Climati said concerned parents had been asking for a special course for priests. The pontifical academy is run by the Legionaries of Christ, a conservative order, and teachers for the class include exorcists and psychiatrists.
In 1999, the Vatican issued its first new guidelines since 1614 for driving out devils, offering cautions to exorcists about taking psychiatric problems into account. The updated exorcism rite, first issued in Latin and contained in a red, leather-bound book, was a reflection of Pope John Paul II's efforts to convince the skeptical that the devil is very much in the world. At the time, he gave a series of homilies denouncing the devil as a "cosmic liar and murderer." Among the widely accepted signs of possession by the devil are speaking in unknown tongues and demonstrating physical force beyond one's natural capacity.


The Death of Sports

I'm a fan of Pittsburgh sports teams like anybody else. It's exciting when your team wins, no matter what sport you are talking about. But lately, I've see the impact and relevance of sports fading across the board. The Penguins have not touched the ice along with the rest of the NHL teams and now the tantrum came to a season finale. Stanley and his cup will be awful lonely. Fans are left wondering what's next.
In this city, we have had two brand new stadiums shoved down our throats and these gleaming monuments to corporate sponsorship are perched upon a bankrupt city. The magic of a new ballpark has not helped the Bucs record much. As for the Ketchup cage, the playing surface at Heinz Field has given the honor of been deemed the worst in the NFL in a player survey and has been replaced two years after it was installed. Yeah, the Steelers had a great season despite lawsuits by fans over seating issues. When your fans are suing you you have a problem!
Now we hear about how most, if not all the future Hall of Fame baseball players cheated through the use of steroids to achieve their so called greatness. The one thing you don't hear in all this is how the fans (ie. The people who spend their hard earned money to support these egomaniacs) have been duped. We get to buy an overpriced ticket to sit beneath the luxury skyboxs that lesser stadiums were destroyed to create. We shell out big bucks to park, eat and maybe take home some "made in china" souvenir. All this to see millionaire crybabys, cheat, lie and abuse the fans in person.
Don't get me wrong, there are some great guys playing today. The problem is the are surround by idiots. I have not missed hockey that much. Even the most die hard fan could find other ways to pass the time. It would do the players, management and government well to realize that. It's time fans be considered part of the team or I'm taking my ball and going home.

Specter is Ill

United States Sen. Arlen Specter has announced that he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, in a press release from his office Wednesday afternoon.
In a press release, Specter said he had experienced persistent fevers and enlarged lymph nodes under his left arm and above his left clavicle.
The statement said Specter received testing on Feb. 14 at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. The testing involved biopsy of a lymph node and biopsy of bone marrow. The lymph node was positive for Hodgkin's disease. The bone marrow biopsy showed no cancer. A follow up PET scan and MRI established Specter has stage 4B Hodgkin's disease, the statement said. Hodgkin's disease is a cancer of the lymph system. Approximately 7,500 new cases are diagnosed every year in the United States.
His office said Specter is expected to receive chemotherapy over the next 24 to 32 weeks and he is expected to be able to perform all duties, including chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"Sen. Specter's Hodgkin's disease has a five-year survival rate of 70 percent. He is in superb physical condition, particularly in light of his daily squash regimen, " said Specter's oncologist, Dr. John H. Glick.
In the statement, Specter said: "I have beaten a brain tumor, bypass heart surgery and many tough political opponents; and I'm going to beat this, too. I have a lot more work to do for Pennsylvania and America."

Legalizing Murder

Update: mother fighting to keep a hospital from removing her infant son from the ventilator that has kept him alive since birth has won another temporary restraining order.
The 1st Court of Appeals reinstated the order keeping 4-month-old Sun Hudson on life support Wednesday, just hours after a probate court judge lifted the order.

An infant with an often-lethal skeletal disorder can be removed from life support against his mother's wishes, a judge ruled Wednesday. Wanda Hudson's 4-month-old son,has been on a ventilator since birth. Texas Children's Hospital officials have said no treatment can save him and wanted to remove him from life support. Hudson believes her son will recover and had fought to keep him on the ventilator.
The judge gave the hospital authority to remove the child from life support because a legal standard over hospital care cannot be met. Under Texas law, a hospital must continue care if there is a reasonable probability that another hospital will admit the patient. The mother's attorney argued there is a reasonable chance another hospital would take the infant, which would mandate continued care. Hospital lawyers said state officials have contacted almost 40 facilities and none have been willing to care for him. The law says patients in emergency situations cannot be denied medical care if they aren't in stable condition. The infant suffers from thanatophoric dysplasia, a genetic condition characterized by extremely short limbs, a narrow chest, small ribs and underdeveloped lungs. Infants usually are stillborn or die shortly after birth from respiratory failure. There have been rare documented cases of survivors, however. Last week, the judge extended a restraining order keeping Sun on life support to allow more time for arguments from Hudson.
Full Story

Troublesome Words

I read no less than 50 news sources a day. I don't read every word but I search cyberspace for the stories and issues that make us think. Today I found a piece that really disturbs me because it a view of America that is disheartning. Aljazeera has long been the popular media outlet for terrorist propaganda and I in no way wish to promote them. However, this pieace provides us with a look at what the other side is thinking.

From Aljazeera:

US and British occupation of Iraq is regarded as the re-emergence of the
old colonialist practices of the western empires in some quarters. The real
ambitions underlying the brutal onslaught are still highly questionable - and
then there are the blatant lies over weapons of mass destruction originally used
to justify the war. There were no great victory marches by the occupiers,
nor were they thrown garlands of flowers and greeted in triumph. More US
soldiers have died in Iraq since George Bush declared an end to the war on 1 May
2003 prompting the question: Will Iraq turn into a new Vietnam eventually
bringing the US to its senses ... or perhaps to its knees?
Iraq's history, and along with it that of the Arab Muslim world, speaks of several
similar encounters. In the past, enemies attacked from East and West before they
were swallowed by the moving sands of the region, or forced to retreat, leaving
behind a phoenix-like people who adore life and still accept to die for
their freedom. The escalating Iraqi resistance seems to be setting the stage
for another act which might usher in a new Arab World or set the clock ticking
for the end of yet another empire.

Name That Kaboom

Sources are reporting an unknown aircraft reportedly fired a missile today in an Iranian province that maintains a large nuclear plant suspected by the U.S. of producing illicit nuclear materials.
Iranian Arabic language Al-Alam television reported that a "powerful explosion" was heard this morning on the outskirts of Dailam in the Bushehr province. Witnesses said that the missile was fired from an unknown plane 12 miles from the city. Iranian reports later said the blast was caused by a fuel tank that was accidentally dropped from an Iranian plane in the area. There was no immediate reaction from Iranian officials.

The Worst Invention

This news may be alarming to clock manufacturers but the alarm clock may be the worst invention of all time.
That’s the news from the editors of Mobile PC magazine, who have just selected the five worst inventions of all time. Editor Christopher Null admits the choice may be offbeat but figures if he has to explain why alarm clocks suck than “...you must enjoy mornings more than we do.” Other inventions that aren’t so inventive include the VHS tape rewinder, which may sound like a good idea but only for people who can’t wait three minutes for a tape to rewind. Null also gives low marks to the Furby, saying the only thing geekier than owning one is “speaking Klingon” and figures the only thing the Bow-Lingual Dog Translator is good for is discovering how many ways a pooch can say, “I’m hungry but confused.”

What do you think is the worst invention?????????

A Wake Up Call

Jim and Betsy Scantlin received an early Valentine's Day present from their daughter Sarah last week, a present they have been waiting since 1984 to hear. For 20 years, Sarah Scantlin has been mostly oblivious to the world around her - the victim of a drunken driver. After two decades of silence, she began talking and remembering her past. This inspirational story contrasts sharply with recent developments in the case of Terri Schiavo and her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. Terri, you will recall, has been similarly comatose for the past 15 years. Last Friday a Florida judge essentially sentenced Terri to die when he refused to reconsider his ruling allowing her estranged husband to remove her feeding tube and begin a painful week-long starvation process. Cases like Sarah Scantlin's highlight how little we know about serious brain injuries. A new study published in the medical journal Neurology found that brain-damaged people who are treated as if they are completely unaware may in fact hear and register what is going on around them but not be able to respond. No judge has the expertise to decide if Terri lives or dies and the decision should not be left up to a husband who desires Terri's death. Please pray for Terri and her family.

The Biggest Loser

Listeners to show know that Marty and Clare have entered into a weight loss battle. They both have teams and the team that looses the most weight by the end of April wins. I know Marty and I've seen him eat, so I'm picking Clare to win. But don't let me infulence your pick. If you would like to join others in guessing the biggest loser you can do so here. Stay tuned for updates in the coming days!

Biblical Gambling

An Alabama lawmaker has found plenty of people who want to challenge his claim that the Bible does not define marriage as being between a man and a woman. During debate on the House floor over a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, state Representative Alvin Holmes pulled a wad of money out of his pocket and offered $700 to anyone who could find a Bible verse defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. The House has since received dozens of calls from people wanting to point out Bible verses to Holmes. But Holmes -- who has upped the offer to $5,000 -- said no one has shown him a verse that specifically says marriage is between a man and a woman. He said he has received quotations of various Bible verses referring to a man and his wife or a husband and his wife, but none that specifically refer to a man and a woman.

Farewell Sister Lucia

Political parties suspended their election campaigns and long lines of worshippers paid their final respects Monday following the death of Sister Lucia, the last of three shepherd children who claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary during 1917 apparitions in the town of Fatima. The Roman Catholic nun, who died Sunday at age 97 of apparent heart failure, will be buried Tuesday in the graveyard of the Carmelite convent where she had lived since 1948. Flags around the country were ordered flown at half-staff. Her body lay in a coffin in the chapel of the convent near Fatima. Hundreds of people came to pray and bring flowers, media reports said. After working hours, a long queue of worshippers waiting to enter snaked around the convent. In a condolence letter, President Jorge Sampaio said Lucia "was a symbol and a point of reference for so many people in the whole world." Bishop Serafim Ferreira e Silva held a service Monday at the Fatima shrine, which is visited each year by millions. A funeral was scheduled for Tuesday at the cathedral in the nearby city of Coimbra. Two of Portugal's political parties, the Social Democratic Party and the Popular Party, canceled campaign events for the Feb. 20 general election for 48 hours. Shortly before she died, Lucia reportedly read a fax sent to her by Pope John Paul II. The pontiff has met with Lucia during each of his three visits to Fatima. In the message, John Paul expressed his closeness and blessing, and said he was praying so that she "live this moment of pain, suffering and offering in the spirit of Easter, of passage," the Italian bishops' conference news agency SIR reported, citing Portuguese sources. Lucia and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco said Mary appeared to them several times in Fatima, a farming town 120 miles north of Lisbon. Sister Lucia said Mary spoke only to her. The three said Mary appeared on the 13th day of each month and predicted events, such as world wars, the reemergence of Christianity in Russia, and one that church officials say foretold the 1981 attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II. The first sighting was May 13, and the appearances took place for another five months, ending abruptly in October 1917. Shortly after, both Jacinta and Francisco died of respiratory diseases. Lucia became a nun and wrote two memoirs. Born Lucia de Jesus, she changed her name twice after entering the convents but was popularly known as Sister Lucia. The pope has visited Fatima three times since becoming pontiff in 1978, spending a few minutes with Lucia during each trip. In 2000, he visited Fatima to beatify Jacinta and Francisco. He has claimed the Virgin of Fatima saved his life after he was shot by a Turkish gunman in St. Peter's Square in 1981. The attack, on May 13, coincided with the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, and John Paul credits Mary's intercession for his survival.

The Abandonment of Israel

The Presbyterian Church USA hosted a three-day meeting to justify to denomination leaders its decision to divest from Israel, presenting what one church elder described as a panel of "full-time, paid, anti-Israel propagandists." The event, which occurred Feb. 10-12 at the denomination's headquarters in Louisville, Ky., was entitled "Steps Toward Peace in Israel and Palestine." The conference was held to explain why action was taken to divest church funds from companies doing business with Israel. In July, the denomination's General Assembly voted 431-62 to divest from the Jewish state. The PCUSA is believed to be the largest organization or institution to join the divestment campaign against the Jewish state. It was the first Christian denomination to do so.
As evidenced by the need to hold the conference, which drew 200 participants, not all Presbyterians are happy with the divestment action. The discussion on Feb. 10 was moderated by former General Assembly leader Fahed Abu-Akel, who in October 2003 arranged for the appearance of an anti-Semitic speaker, Samir Makhlouf, at a Presbyterian-sponsored event at Wooster College in Ohio. The panel featured four Palestinian Christians. None spoke of the actions of the Palestinian Authority, which, in areas under its control, has confiscated Christian property, failed to prosecute the murderers of Palestinian Muslims who convert to Christianity, and witnessed the rise of radical Islamism that has encouraged violent attacks on Palestinian Christians, including full-scale riots that have caused a rapid increase in emigration. According to the four Palestinians who spoke, the only villain in the Middle East is Israel. Three of the four Palestinians – Sawsan Bitar, Nuha Khoury and Alex Awad – work for organizations that do not acknowledge Israel's right to exist.
Alex Awad is a prominent anti-Israel activist and author and is employed as a Methodist missionary, but his mission is not to preach the Gospel of Jesus to non-Christians. Awad devotes his time to taking tour groups through a Palestinian refugee camp' and writing anti-Israel books and articles.
Leslie Scanlon, a reporter for the Presbyterian Outlook, described the meeting this way:
"In one of the first day's sessions, four Palestinian Christians came to tell their stories – their words making international politics seem real and personal as they spoke of the impact of the Israeli occupation on their jobs, their children, their homes and their sense of self worth."
Two online petitions have been created to collect signatures of those who want the denomination to reverse its course on divestment.
One is for members of the Presbyterian Church USA and is targeted to the members of the General Assembly, and the other is addressed to the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church USA.
Full Story

The Big Dip Debate

Last week we talked about if it is necessary to be baptized to be saved. If you missed the show you are going to be in the dark a bit because I can not cover what was said over the 3 hours. To whittle it down.... Marty believes while baptism is an important display of obedience, it is not needed for salvation. I would tend to disagree. The water is symbolic but we are told to repent and be baptized. Jesus was baptized and if it's good enough for him.... You get my point. It is the spirit that baptizes you. Many have this idea of "magic water" that cleanses you. I would say the water represents the spirit that we can not see. This was a hot topic for many of you so I'm going to share some of the email that was sent in the comments section. Feel free to post your own thoughts.

Today on "As the Burg Turns"

A clinical, three-page paper written by Dr. Cyril H. Wecht has sparked a criminal investigation of Allegheny County's coroner. Sounds like a great script in the continuing saga for a city in shambles.
(Opening scene: District attorney is complaining about the coroner)
District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. insists Dr. Cyril H. Wecht may have violated state and federal ethics laws by using his public office for private gain. Dum... De... Dum... Dum....
Wecht recommended homicide charges in the death of an Altoona man who died from positional asphyxiation during a fight with Mount Oliver police in 2002, and then earned $5,000 as a private consultant to write the report for a federal lawsuit by the man's family.
In March 2003, the family of 43-year-old Charles Dixon filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against Mount Oliver police. That July, after reviewing testimony at an open inquest and a recommendation by hearing examiner William Manifesto, Wecht recommended that Zappala pursue criminal charges in the case, though he did not identify a culprit.
About two months after that, Wecht was asked by the law firm Lewis, Lewis & Reilly to write a report about positional asphyxiation, which the coroner's office ruled as the cause of Dixon's death. That condition can happen when pressure is applied to the back of someone in a prone position.
Over the three pages, Wecht laid out the cause of Dixon's death and then concluded that "information about the dangers of positional asphyxiation has been widely disseminated to law enforcement agencies" throughout the country. The lawsuit was settled for $850,000.
The Dixon case might be the only one in which Wecht has served as an expert after an open inquest was conducted to determine the cause and manner of death and whether someone was criminally liable.
Wecht did serve as an expert witness on a lawsuit brought by the family of motorist Jonny Gammage, who died of positional asphyxia during a confrontation with police after a traffic stop in Overbrook, but Wecht was not the coroner when the incident happened in 1995. Wecht charges a standard $5,000 fee for consulting on cases, whether "malpractice or murder."
Under the county's Ethics Act, adopted in 2001, row officers and others are required to submit annual statements of financial interest that document gifts, corporate interests, owned properties and the names of immediate family members and whether they belong to county boards or directorships, among other things. Wecht did not file any statements for 2002 or 2003. Tune in next time for another excitingly sad episode of "As the Burg Turns".

Teach Your Children Well

The New Brunswick Theological Seminary, one of the nation's oldest schools for training mainline Protestant clergy, has retired (aka fired) its president and reprimanded him for officiating at his gay daughter's wedding.The school's board of trustees implied in an earlier statement that the wedding wasn't a factor in its decision not to renew the contract of the Rev. Norman Kansfield, 64. But a board spokesman and Kansfield confirmed that the ceremony, which was conducted in Massachusetts, had precipitated the decision. In a letter sent shortly before the June 19 wedding of his daughter, Anne, Kansfield informed the board of his decision and said he wasn't seeking its permission. The ceremony took place shortly after Massachusetts began allowing same-sex marriages. Kansfield says he has not done anything to hurt his denomination, the Reformed Church of America. A former pastor and seminary librarian, Kansfield is considered among the church's most learned theologians. The Reformed Church -- which traces its roots to Dutch settlers who arrived in America 400 years ago -- is one of the more conservative denominations in the National Council of Churches.Unlike its fellow mainline Protestant churches -- such as Episcopalians and Methodists -- the church has not had high-profile controversies over the rights of homosexuals. That is about to change.The denomination's national office in Grand Rapids, Mich., recently said formal complaints have been filed against Kansfield, and he said he expected to be brought up on charges in June at the church's General Synod in Schenectady, N.Y. Kansfield, who has been president of the New Brunswick seminary since 1993, is one of a dozen "professors" of the church, an honor bestowed on its most learned theologians. Kansfield, who said he has had close gay friends since high school and his early days as a minister in Queens, said he sought permission from Massachusetts authorities last summer before he performed the ceremony. Kansfield said a trial would be the highest-profile proceeding in the church since 1962, when a seminary professor questioned whether the first parts of Genesis should be taken literally. Kansfield said he was proud to be a catalyst for the discussion in his church.

Dean and the DNC

Both the outgoing chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Terry McAuliffe, and his successor, Howard Dean, recently addressed the relationship between the DNC and the Catholic Church.

Catholic League president William Donohue took note:
“At last Thursday’s send-off gala for Terry McAuliffe, the departing head of the DNC took a parting shot at the Catholic Church: ‘I was very dismayed at the Catholic Church in last year’s election. The way they went into their pulpits and told people it was a sin to vote for John Kerry was nothing short of just outrageous.’ What is really outrageous is for this sore loser to cruelly caricature what the bishops said.

“Moreover, it was partly because of McAuliffe’s antics that I filed an IRS complaint against Miami’s New Birth Baptist Church last summer. On August 29, Baptist Bishop Victor T. Curry, Rev. Al Sharpton and Terry McAuliffe turned a religious service into a Bush-bashing exercise. Here’s what McAuliffe told the congregation: ‘Get out to vote and we’ll send Bush back to Texas.’

“On Saturday, Howard Dean said, ‘We have to remind Catholic Americans that the social mission of the Democratic Party is almost exactly the social mission of the Catholic Church.’ A case can be made for that position, but it must also be said that the DNC’s positions on abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage and school vouchers are the mirror opposite of the Church’s teachings. So how does Dean expect to deal with these issues? He recently tried to calm the fears of the abortion-rights extremists in his party by saying there was no need for them to change their position, but ‘we can change our vocabulary.’

“If the DNC is going to bring Catholics back into the fold, it will take a change in policies, not vocabulary. And it will have to be done without lecturing the bishops on what constitutes their episcopal authority.”

Bob's Back.... Again

He's back..... and saying he is the best man (and he really means it this time), former City Council President Bob O'Connor officially entered the Pittsburgh mayor's race..... again.

He shared the very exciting news at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers building. Go Bob jump right in with the Union! The three-time candidate described himself as a kind of chief executive officer who could guide the city past its fiscal problems by hiring talented managers and promoting economic development. (If you know what that means please email me to explain) He also promised to focus on improving the city's public schools. O'Connor, 60, of Squirrel Hill, is the second major candidate to enter the race, following Allegheny County Prothonotary Michael Lamb of Mount Washington. City Councilman William Peduto of Shadyside is expected to officially enter the race next week, though tomorrow his supporters will start gathering the petition signatures needed to get on the ballot.
All three are going for the Democratic nomination in the May 17 primary, which all but decides the mayor's race in a city where registered Republicans are outnumbered 5-to-1. (Hence the 'distressed staus") O'Connor said he would release specifics on his plans for fixing the city's budget later. (Hey Bob, there's only 3 months to the election. Hurry up will ya?) Asked if he supported the spending cuts in the city's Act 47 economic recovery plan, which consumed city government all last year and triggered deep cuts in personnel spending, O'Connor was noncommittal. That's pretty much says it all.

Today on "As the Burg Turns"

In the continuing saga of corruption, sleaze and allegations otherwise know as "City Politics" we offer the latest script in the series....

When we last left Sherrif Pete has was telling the Mayor where to put his budget cuts and continuing to spend funds he did not have. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. It was the Feds! Dum... De... Dum... Dum. Federal agents began poring over the campaign finance records of Allegheny County Sheriff Pete DeFazio. Before long they find that he has received more than $150,000 in contributions over the past six years from his employees. Honorary deputies, to whom DeFazio has given badges, have contributed another $314,000. (Helpful Hint: You can pick up the complete Sheriff's playset including cuffs, badge and gun much cheaper at any dollar store) Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service agents are looking into whether DeFazio or Chief Deputy Sheriff Dennis Skosnik have pressured employees into making contributions or have traded honorary badges for contributions. Or maybe people just like to give him money. So how much has he stuffed in his pockets? Try $1.01 million over the last six years.
DeFazio appeared on the ballot once, in 2001, and faced only token opposition. Maybe that money money paid for the big boat with his name on it that putts up and down the river. (Ok send in the clouds and cue the union official.)
With the cloud of a federal investigation hanging over the office, sheriff's employees have refused to talk to reporters. But Joseph Chester, attorney for the sheriff's deputies union, scoffs at the notion that employees have been pressured to make contributions. (And "cut". Rewrite that last part. No one will buy it. )
This unfortunately is based on true story. You'll find it here.

Welcome Talkingtruthers

The link to Powerblog! from Marty's website is now up. If you are coming here from www.talkingtruth.org WELCOME. You will find my views on theology and faith tend to differ from Marty but an honest discussion never hurt anyone. Feel free to poke around and post your comments. That's why we are here!

Has Anyone Seen My Nuclear Material?

From the AP:
Radioactive material lost about four months ago by Texas-based Halliburton Energy Services surfaced Thursday in Boston after federal homeland security and enforcement authorities launched a massive search. According to a report filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday by Halliburton, the material was being shipped to Texas, when it was apparently misdirected in Newark, N.J., and ended up at the Forward Freight facilities in Boston. NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said Halliburton did not notify the NRC until Tuesday that the material, which is used in oil well exploration, had gone missing last October. Sheehan said the company did not adhere to notification requirements, and the incident is still under investigation. "The focus through today was on trying to find the material," said Sheehan. "We're going to be pressing them as to why the notification was not more timely." Homeland Security Department officials as well as the FBI launched a search for the materials after learning they were missing. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a frequent critic of the NRC, said the incident highlights inadequate security measures that cover nuclear materials. According to the report, two radioactive sources of the element Americium were imported from Russia by Halliburton Energy Services. The shipment went through Amsterdam to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on Oct. 9, and then disappeared until Wednesday when it turned up in Boston. Halliburton did not immediately comment on the report Thursday. The NRC report indicates the material was trucked to Massachusetts after a Boston label was inadvertently placed on the package at Forward Freight's Newark facility. The materials are classified as having the potential to permanently injure a person who fails to handle them properly, Markey said. Markey said the NRC still hasn't beefed up its rules to the point where dangerous materials are kept out of the hands of terrorists.

Don't Know Jack

Very few things make my blood boil and I've had to add one thing to the list. "Jack Chick Tracts". Maybe you never heard of them. The one I viewed called "the Death Cookie" reminds me of Nazi propaganda for a sick and twisted agenda all wrapped up in something that is supposed to be good. The tract (that is supposed to bring people to Christ) depicts the Devil as the "consultant" the the Catholic Church. Part of the Devil's contribution is a cookie. This is supposed to represent the Holy Eucharist. The Pope is called "Papa" and the clergy are his "Holy Helpers". Oh wait it gets better..... the tract contends from 1200 - 1808 "Satan was in complete control of the Roman Catholic Church". It does not explain why Satan gave up the church in 1808. I have a feeling maybe he wanted to get into the tract publishing business. If you are into cartoon theology then you might actually believe this insipid garbage. If you do, well I'll pray for you because you have some major misunderstanding issues.

If you really want to waste your time looking at this trash you will find it here.

Terri's Life

I've been following the case of Terri Schiavo since the begining. I, along with many other across the country, have developed a personal attachment to Terri. For some reason, I think most of us realize we could be in her postition someday. I heard her husband speak and he considers it an act of mercy to let her die. I heard her parents speak and they do not wish to watch their child die of starvation. It comes down to the question when is does life no longer hold value and who gets to decide? I've said before I think Terri's life has had a tremendous impact on all of us. She has caused us to ask tough questions. I think her life does have value and it is not up to us to say otherwise. As this case progresses I will post updates on Terri. Her feeding tube is scheduled to be removed Feb. 22. Please keep her and her family in your prayers. For more information click the banner at the top of this page.
The husband of a severely brain-damaged woman believes he can remove the feeding tube keeping her alive Feb. 22, but an attorney for her parents said Wednesday that pending legal issues likely will keep it from happening that soon.Having suffered another round of losses at the state 2nd District Court of Appeal last week, Terri's Schiavo's parents now are focusing on issues pending in the state court to block their son-in-law, Michael Schiavo, from stopping the feedings.Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, said he believes the feeding tube can legally be removed for a third and final time Feb. 22. That's when the 2nd DCA is expected to issue its mandate or final order on last week's rulings and a stay by state Circuit Judge George W. Greer preventing the tube's removal will expire.``Assuming the mandate does issue on Feb. 22, then the last stay in place automatically ends and Mr. Schiavo is authorized to direct the removal of the artificial life support,'' Felos said.But Barbara Weller, an attorney for Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, said other issues pending before Greer likely will compel the judge to again delay the tube's removal.``I think (a Feb. 22 removal) is unlikely, but you can't make any predictions in this case,'' Weller said. ``There are still way too many legal issues outstanding to be considered.''Terri Schiavo, 41, suffered severe brain damage 15 years ago when her heart stopped because of a potassium imbalance brought on by an eating disorder. Her husband says she once told him she would not want to be kept alive artificially, but she left no written instructions.Her parents dispute that, saying Michael Schiavo wants her dead so he collect what remains of a $1 million medical malpractice judgment their daughter received. She lives in a Pinellas Park hospice and can breathe on her own but requires the feeding tube for nutrition and hydration.Twice before in 2001 and 2003, Michael Schiavo had the tube removed but the Schindlers were able to get it reinserted before their daughter died -- first under a judge's order and then when the Legislature and Gov. Jeb Bush hastily enacted a bill giving the governor power to step in. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that law unconstitutional last year.Perhaps the Schindlers' best hope for another delay is a motion in which their attorneys claim the 2000 order issued by Greer allowing Michael Schiavo to stop the feedings is illegal because Terri has never been represented by her own attorney.Greer said he would rule Friday on whether to allow that motion be heard. If the Schindlers lose, their attorneys will appeal and ask for another stay, Weller said.She said they also planned to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their claim that Terri Schiavo should be spared based on statements by Pope John Paul II that people in vegetative states have a right to nutrition and hydration. They say Terri, as a practicing Roman Catholic, would have obeyed the pope and would not choose to have her tube removed. Greer and the 2nd DCA already have ruled against them.Also pending before Greer is an effort to remove Michael Schiavo as his wife's legal guardian.Felos said he believes Michael Schiavo needs no further direction from the court to stop his wife's feedings after the 2nd DCA issues its mandate. Weller said she believes it will require another order from Greer setting a date and time. Greer said Thursday he will wait for the appeals court mandate to tell him how to proceed.