Walking Coast to Coast in England

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 1 June 2005 0 Comments
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In Melbourne, Australia, this very afternoon in a situation that REVERSES the Schiavo case, a husband will fight in court AGAINST any attempt by the authorities to turn off life support to his wife who is in a permanent vegetative state. He allegedly tried to murder her. At the moment he has been charged with ONLY attempted murder. If she dies, the charge will be upgraded to murder. However, I wonder if/when the fanatics and the Catholic Church will fight this case with as much energy as they did in the case of Terri Schiavo as it protects the allegedly guilty as a consequence.


Life is strange and human motivation is always complicated. I want the Church to be on the side of life. I define life, however, as being capable of entering meaningful relationships. I do not regard a breathing cadaver as alive. It gets more difficult when the choice of life for one person results in death for another so I think we should as a society learn to act so as to minimize the possibility that our choice will be reduced to that grim level. That, however, requires a much broader view of the world and a willingness to compromise on many issues than I tend to find among the loud voices of the so called 'pro-life' movement.

--John Shelby Spong

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