The Pope also tweeted last week, stressing that everything be done to help protect Alfie’s life and to make the parents’ suffering be heard.
Little Alfie has been at the center of a legal battle in the UK to keep him alive. Since December 2016, Alfie has been living with an unidentified degenerative neurological condition and has stayed in the hospital. Despite some signs of improvement, however, the hospital and courts have been saying to take him off life support, against the parents’ wishes.
Here is a working transcription of Zenit’s exclusive interview.
ZENIT: How was your encounter with the Pope this morning?
It went as well as it could have. I was very pleased to meet him. He praised me for my courage. He said I have courage like God. He said there are not many men out there who can take on this type of problem. He stated that ‘no child’s life should be taken away from them.’ I listened very well to what he said.
I am hoping that the next step from this encounter is that the Holy Father will attain for us asylum in the Vatican, and that we are going to become Vatican, Italian citizens. That is what our next goal is. From the look on Pope Francis’ face, as you know, I do not understand Italian, but he looked very touched. He was listening and making eye contact. For me, that was the most important thing about the meeting. I am very fortunate to have had this meeting and I am very confident the Pope will do what he can to save Alfie.
ZENIT: So your hope to save Alfie is to be given asylum here and citizenship?
ZENIT: What did you ask him?
I asked the Pope personally to seek asylum in his country. So we wait for an answer for that now.
ZENIT: Did he have certain curiosities? or specific questions?
Not specific questions. He wanted to know more about Alfie, what was going on in the UK, how the children are being treated over there. And I let him know how they are treating the disabled children, and while euthanasia is not legal over there, but for some reason they think it is legal to euthanize these children. I wanted the Pope to know what is really going on in the UK, what is going on in Alfie’s situation. And I am hoping that the next step is to get Alfie asylum in this country.
ZENIT: And during the audience?
He spoke very clear today, stressing that only God is the Master of life, not others, appealing for the defense of my son’s life, and others in similar situations.
ZENIT: How did today’s meeting come to fruition?
Basically I spoke with a friend of mine, you know Benedetta [Benedetta Frigerio, Italian journalist], and said I am going to go Rome, the Vatican, and do a live video and try to get the Pope’s attention. I didn’t even have to do that because the amazing team, including Christine [Christine-Therese Broesamle], managed to get us the meeting directly with the Pope, which went very well. I am really happy to be here today and the support from Italy has been amazing, and I am hoping that the next step is that we become Italian citizens.
ZENIT: How will you be spending your remaining time in Rome?
Well, I am going to get some food, get a shower. I was offered to stay here overnight, but the main priority for me is to get back to Alfie. So I want to get a flight to Alfie as soon as possible.
ZENIT: How is Alfie doing?
He is doing very well. He had his sacraments a day or two ago. And after those sacraments, he has shown very positive signs. He has been showing various signs of more life.
And I am going to keep praying, and the world is praying and we are going to leave the situation in the hands of God.