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Terri Schiavo's Family Remarks on Bishop Robert N. Lynch's Retirement

Contact: Tom Shakely, Executive Director, Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, 855-300-4673 ext 3, tshakely@lifeandhope.com

PHILADELPHIA, June 8, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- Bishop Robert N. Lynch, of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida, is retiring. The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network takes this time to reflect on Bishop Lynch's legacy as it relates to Terri Schiavo, inarguably the most internationally recognized person to have lived under his protection and perhaps the most morally significant cultural "teaching moment" during his tenure at the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo and president of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, reflected: "As a Catholic myself, any criticism I offer of Bishop Lynch is rooted in my love for, and obedience to, the role of any bishop in shepherding the faithful. That being said, Bishop Lynch has been a poor moral leader who has confused and misled the people of his diocese about my sister and the meaning and consequences of her state-sanctioned death. The worst thing that can happen when you've got your hand out for help is for someone to spit in it. In my family's experience, Bishop Lynch was like the man spitting in the hand of a person in need."

"When my family pleaded for simple advocacy," Schindler continued, "or for simply a public acknowledgment that it was wrong to deprive my sister of food and water, Bishop Lynch instead offered weak platitudes that served to endorse an estranged husband's death wish for his wife. Michael Schiavo had not only abandoned his marital promise to Terri, 'in sickness and health,' but he had estranged himself from her and our family by living and having children with another woman. For any faithful Catholic, it was plain to see that Michael was living in an adulterous relationship—while at the same time actively seeking to end his wife's life. For Bishop Lynch, however, these realities were of no consequence."

"I'll never forget one of his boldest statements, issued in the weeks leading up to my sister's death," Schindler continued. "He didn't call for mercy for Terri, or for the continuation of basic care, but, unbelievably, for my family and those fighting for my sister to 'step back a little and allow some mediation in these final hours' with those seeking to end my sister's life. They were only her 'final hours' because men like him regarded her right to life as negotiable..."

For the full news release visit the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network or access a PDF version.