Pope Francis Expresses His Closeness to Charlie Gard’s Parents

Parents Trial of Strength Against a London Hospital and European Judges

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“The Holy See follows with affection and emotion the situation of little Charlie Gard and expresses its closeness to his parents,” stated Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office, on Sunday evening, July 2, 2017.
Director Burke said that Pope Francis “prays for them and hopes that their desire to accompany and care for their child, until the end, will not be disregarded.”

Already on Friday, June 30, the Pope posted this tweet on his @Pontifex account: “To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all.»
The London hospital where little Charlie Gard is hospitalized, the 10-month old English baby suffering from a genetic ailment said to be incurable, decided to withdraw his life support.
Charlie’s parents, Christ Gard and Connie Yates, had a judicial showdown with Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital on the question of their treatment of their child, suffering from mitochondrial depletion syndrome affecting his brain.
On June 27, the European Court of Human Rights rejected their appeal to take their child to the United States for experimental treatment, and the British High Court decided in favor of halting the child’s care.
In a statement on the eve of the Pope’s tweet, the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, pleaded for the patient: “We must do what improves the patient’s health, but we must also accept the limits of medicine and . . . avoid disproportionate aggressive medical interventions in relation to the results that one could expect or that are too heavy for the patient and his family.”
He also warned against the “ideological or political manipulation” and the “sensationalism of the media, which, sadly, can be superficial.”

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Anita Bourdin

France. Journalist accreditated to the Holy See press office since 1995. Started Zenit in french in january 1999. Classical litterature (Paris IV-Sorbonne). Master in journalism (IJRS Bruxelles). Biblical theology (PUG, Rome).

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