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Bishop William E. Lori responds to the tragic death of Terri Schiavo, urging Catholics to advocate more forcefully for the vulnerable and helpless

BRIDGEPORT,CT Thursday, March 31, 2005 - Following the tragic death of Terri Schiavo this morning, Bishop William E. Lori issued the following statement:

"This is a sad day for our country, and for all those who struggle to protect life.

"We mourn the death of Terri Schiavo and invite all Catholics and, indeed, all people of good will to pray for the repose of her soul and the comfort of her family. We extend our deepest condolences to Terri's parents, who waged a valiant battle to save her life, a life that, for all of its disability, was still a precious gift from God.

"We must remember that Terri was denied food and water, which is morally obligatory so long as it is useful to the patient. This was not extraordinary medical treatment or means, but basic nourishment that is everyone's fundamental right. Terri's human rights were violated.

"As we move forward, we must not forget Terri, nor allow her death to be in vain. I call upon every Catholic to advocate more forcefully on behalf of the vulnerable and helpless in our society to ensure that their basic human rights are protected. We must speak out to our elected officials, and Catholic Concerns Day in Hartford on April 7 is a good place to start."

Bishop Lori will join his fellow Catholic bishops, priests, deacons, Religious Sisters, and faithful of all ages in Hartford on Thursday, April 7, for Catholic Concerns Day, which is organized by the Connecticut Catholic Conference. All are invited to attend, and bus transportation from Fairfield County is available. For more information, visit: Connecticut Catholic Concerns Day.

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