Saturday, March 19, 2005

Terri Schiavo and the Pope: Not a love story.

If you're not all that familiar with the Terri Schiavo story, no problem -- the Rude Pundit can bring you up to speed.

But it's J Bowen over at "No Watermelons Allowed" who raises an interesting and tricky issue for the numerous Catholics who have been howling to prevent Schiavo's feeding tube to be removed, thereby allowing her to die with what little dignity she might have left.

Given the Pope's increasingly poor health, it's not inconceivable that he might end up bedridden as well, unable to take care of himself, hooked up to oxygen and feeding tubes, perhaps hanging on and slowly becoming a vegetative invalid as well. What to do then? If he can't fulfill his Popely duties, who takes over? Does the Church elect a new pope while the current one is still alive?

If he's unable to speak or communicate in any way, you can't assume that he's willing to step down. After all, he certainly hasn't shown any interest in doing that up to now, has he?

So, what happens if he ends up like Terri Schiavo, and one year turns into two and two into three, and so on? And doesn't that scenario put a whole new spin on things?

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