Absent shepherds

From AMDG: Terri Schiavo’s brother has written an open letter to Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg in anticipation of the second anniversary of his sister’s murder. He notes recent comments by Lynch on the homeless, and sees a terrible irony therein. And he writes to explain why he holds the Bishop more responsible for her death than either her husband or the judge.

In the opening paragraph of your commentary, “The Homeless Are Challenge To Our Cities And Our Faith,” you said “The challenge of the homeless in St. Petersburg has made national news and it has been embarrassing to many people. I am convinced that both on Judgment Day and in history, we will most likely be judged not by the things which we might have considered personally important to ourselves in life but how we took care of others less fortunate.” A prophetic statement indeed — and one in complete conformity with the words of our Lord in Matthew 25:31-46.

You then went on to say in the beginning of the next paragraph, “The faces which may haunt each of us on Judgment Day may well be those of people who have approached us for assistance and were turned away.”

Bishop Lynch, I couldn’t have said it better myself. …

… Sadly, your legacy will be that of the shepherd that stood silently by as one of his innocent disabled lambs was slowly and needlessly slaughtered by removing her food and water—while you persistently ignored the cries of her family for help (“her family” being the ones who merely wanted to care for her.) …

Your behaviors … have brought scandal to the Universal Church and to the faithful, particularly here in Florida. Your indifference toward the Truth is appalling, but seems to be indicative of the all-too prevalent corruption of priestly formation in the 1960’s and 70’s, so perhaps your culpability is somewhat mitigated. Even so, the fact of my sister’s murder under our “pastoral care” is a fact you should acknowledge publicly.

This season of Lent is one well suited to seek public forgiveness and make public reparation for public scandal.

At least until that happens, I regret that I must remain, as you said, the face that haunts you as someone that did approach you for assistance and was turned away.

Lynch hasn’t responded. But he has had quite a bit to say about how Catholics should vote on a tax issue.