Helen Weir
Pray for Beppino
By Helen Weir
February 11, 2009

Now that Eluana is dead, it is time to pray not only for the repose of her soul, but also for her father, Beppino Englaro. Beppino, unlike Bob Schindler (the father of Terri Schindler-Schiavo), actively sought his daughter's death. In this regard, Mr. Englaro is reminiscent of Joe Cruzan, who urged the courts to starve and dehydrate his daughter Nancy back in 1990. Joe "succeeded," and Nancy died the same way that Terri and Eluana have. It would appear that our culture — like the one Buchenwald survivor Eugen Kogon experienced and subsequently documented as an everlasting warning to the civilized world — is becoming "fond of inflicting death by starvation."

The Schindler family lost their beloved Terri, but not their humanity. They have dedicated themselves to protecting vulnerable individuals in a societal climate that increasingly devalues the inconvenient, the "imperfect," the burdensome.

What happened after Nancy died, in fulfillment of her father's persistent and ultimately court-enforced wish? Did he find the great "resolution" that the apologists of imposed death promise upon delivery of a long-awaited corpse?

In point of fact, Joe Cruzan took his own life. And so we must bear in mind that Beppino is desperately in need of our prayers at this time, and will be more so as the months and years go by.

I remember well how Catholic dissenter Kevin O'Rourke, O.P., took to the airwaves in St. Louis to place the blame for Joe's suicide on pro-lifers. Joe offed himself, Father argued, because of the people who kept trying to make him feel guilty for what he had done. Oh, really? How would that have worked?

"You should not have robbed that bank!" I tell you. Are you about to harm yourself over the accusation? Not if you never robbed a bank in the first place.

Or how about, "You did the dishes last night, didn't you?" Well, yes, I did. It doesn't make a person feel bad to be accused of doing something that isn't morally evil in the first place.

Joe Cruzan, like countless parents of aborted children before him, discovered something. He discovered that, even with overriding public opinion and the sophisticated niceties of Father O'Rourke turned up to full volume, the voice of conscience cannot be forever drowned out. It is too bad that he didn't find out in time — truly, in his heart — that this is exactly why Jesus died on the cross for us, to obtain the remission of our sins. Repentance, conversion or reversion to the true Faith, and the door of the Confessional are open to all, no matter what. But who was going to tell him this good news? Father O'Rourke, who doesn't hold that the murder of the innocent is a sin in the first place?

I have heard it argued that Father O'Rourke's theological stance — which holds, amidst innumerable nuances, that keeping people like Terri alive constitutes the commission of "blasphemy" — is "not that bad."

"Not that bad"? The ideological gateway to the commission of heartless genocide, the modern-day, pseudo-Catholic archway marked "Arbeit Macht Frei," is to be considered not that bad? I guess we are now free to agree with the pro-abortionists who believe it is possible for a mother to be "not that pregnant." There is God's law, and there is the arrogant violation of it. Where the matter of life and death is concerned, there is no in-between.

So pray for Beppino Englaro, and for all who are lost in the anti-life darkness that is deepening even today. Pray for Father O'Rourke, and for all Catholics who actively witness against the truth of the sanctity of human life. Father Maximilian Mary Kolbe, who embraced martyrdom to bring the light of God's truth into the starvation bunker of Auschwitz and beyond, pray, please pray to Our Lady of Lourdes, for all of us.

© Helen Weir


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