The Catholic Bishops of England have issued a shocking statement defending the hospital that is yanking the life support of little Alfie Evans. The curious statement follows on the heels of a meeting between Alfie’s Father Tom Evans and Pope Francis today.
The new statement from the British bishops seemingly puts them at odds with Pope Francis, who spoke out today on Alfie’s behalf saying that life needs to be respected. Instead, the British Catholic Bishops defended Alder Hey Children’s Hospital — which has been fighting in court to remove Alfie Evans’ life support over his parents’ objections.
“Our hearts go out to the parents of Alfie Evans and our prayers are for him and with them as they try to do all they can to care for their son. We affirm our conviction that all those who are and have been taking the agonising decisions regarding the care of Alfie Evans act with integrity and for Alfie’s good as they see it. The professionalism and care for severely ill children shown at Alder Hey Hospital is to be recognised and affirmed,” the bishops said.
The bishops defended the hospital, saying that the “public criticism” of their work is “unfounded as our chaplaincy care for the staff, and indeed offered to the family, has been consistently provided.”
Referring to the offer from the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu to care for Alfie Evans, the bishops said that in cases where “crucial decisions in conflicts of opinion have to be taken” it is up to the hospital to give British courts the medical reasons for an exception to be made.
The statement concluded: “With the Holy Father, we pray that, with love and realism, everything will be done to accompany Alfie and his parents in their deep suffering.”
The statement seems to put the bishops at odds with Pope Francis. While the British bishops deferred to the hospital, Pope Francis made it clear that “the only master of life — from its beginning to natural end — is God.”
“It’s our duty to do everything to care for life,” Pope Francis told the crowd of thousands in St. Peter’s Square.