“I entrust little Charlie to the Father. I pray for his parents and for the people who loved him,” was Pope Francis’ message on the social networks Instagram and Twitter on July 28, 2017, a few hours after the official announcement of the death of the little British 11-month old baby suffering from a rare disease.
Four days earlier, after Chris Gard’s and Connie Yates’ choice to give up the legal battle for the treatment and life support of their baby, the Pope already assured them of his prayers “at this moment of immense suffering,” and asked that he be joined in prayer “so that they can find the consolation and love of God.”
After many attempts, Charlie’s parents ended their battle against the court and the hospital to keep Charlie hooked up to life support.
Charlie’s parents battled for several months. On June 27, the European Court of Human Rights rejected their request to take their child to the United States, and the British High Court pronounced itself in favor of halting his care.
After a judgment of the British High Court of Justice, Charlie Gard was transferred to a hospice for terminal patients where he died, deprived of an artificial respirator.
On July 2, the Pope expressed his closeness, hoping that Charlie’s parents ‘ “desire to accompany and care for their child up to the end” would not be disregarded. On June 30, the Holy Father posted this Tweet on his @Pontifex account: “To defend human life, especially when it is wounded by sickness, is a commitment of love that God entrusts to every man.”