Michael Schiavo has remarried after successfully having his wife Terri killed through judicial order… and in a Catholic church no less!
Schiavo has been living with this woman for years, long before Terri was killed and has several children by her. This was one of the reasons that Terri’s family put forth in their fight to have Michael removed as Terri’s legal guardian. He had a conflict of interest, namely that it was in his best interest for Terri to die so he could remarry, without having to give up any of the legal settlement money won on her behalf for alleged malpractice.
Meanwhile, Ed Peters looks at the canon law aspects of this marriage and wonders if the diocese of St. Petersburg did due diligence in the matter.
In light of the above, I believe the following questions warrant careful investigation:
A) was a Schiavo-Centonze wedding attempted under color of Catholic canon law; if so,
B) did the pastor of the place or his delegate first verify that “nothing stands in the way of a valid and licit [wedding] celebration” (1983 CIC 1066); specifically,
C) was the impediment of crimen incurred by Michael Schiavo; and, if so,
D) was a dispensation from the impediment sought and duly granted?
It’s very disturbing that Bishop Robert Lynch, who was so evidently absent in advocacy on behalf of Terri, would remain silent on this matter. What exactly does he think his office as apostle and shepherd requires him to do? The eyes of the entire nation and the world are looking at his diocese regarding these very difficult questions that face our culture and his response is ... nothing?
Update: Fr. Rob Johansen provides his view of this marriage and adds that it is probable that the priest had no choice but to allow the marriage because of the demands of canon law which require strict interpretation and nearly ironclad proof that the marriage is invalid. I’m not sure the proof isn’t right there in the daily media coverage of Terri’s plight, but then I’m no canon lawyer. I do know that Bishop Lynch should be doing more to prevent this clear mockery of the sanctity of life and of marriage. So what is he doing?
Update 2: Ed Peters responds to Fr. Rob’s objection (I think; again I’m not a canon lawyer) in an update to his original post.