Last week, the European Court of Human Rights caused international outrage when the judges decided to side with British courts to remove life support for 10-month-old Charlie Gard, refusing to allow his parents to take him to America for trial therapy, even though they raised more than $1 million for it. Gard suffers from a rare genetic condition, which has caused brain damage, and he cannot breathe on his own.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life also decided to side with the UK courts instead of taking a stand for Gard’s life.

After immense criticism, Pope Francis released a statement urging Gard’s parents to do everything they can to save their child’s life.

From Vatican Radio:

“The Holy Father follows with affection and emotion the case of little Charlie Gard and expresses his own closeness to his parents. For them he prays, hoping that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end is not ignored.”

My friend William Newton posted this update on his Facebook page. The president of Vatican hospital reached out to the UK to let them know it can take baby Charlie:

The president of Rome’s Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù Hospital, Mariella Enoc, said Monday she has asked her health director to ask London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital if terminally ill 11-month-old British boy Charlie Gard can be moved there. “We know that it is a desperate case and that there are no effective therapies,” Enoc said, adding “we are close to the parents in prayer and, if this is their desire, willing to take their child, for the time he has left to live”. Enoc said Pope Francis’s words on the case summed up her hospital’s mission: “Defending human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a commitment of love that God entrusts to all men”.

Pope Francis hinted he would take this stance last week when his Twitter account wrote this right after the Council released its decision:

As Daniel Payne at The Federalist pointed out, the Catholic Church is usually “the world’s greatest defender of the right to life, and long a mural bulwark against state intrusion into the rights of the family sphere.” Us Catholics believe all life is precious, which is why we’re pro-life and anti-death penalty. Innocent or guilty, born or unborn.

However, the Catholic Church has faced numerous communication problems since Pope Francis took over in 2013. Mostly due to the media twisting his words to make him appear like a leftist and fit its agenda, but there have been several statements released by the Vatican which has caused some Catholics to groan.

I guess it’s better late than never, but as a Catholic, the statement from the Council of life was a major letdown. I haven’t always agreed with what the Vatican has said, but I always thought I could count on everyone there to defend life, especially when it comes to a baby.


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