The father of Alfie Evans met late Wednesday with Pope Francis at the Vatican and asked him to help speak out on behalf of his son’s life. Alfie’s parents are currently embroiled in a massive legal battle against Alder Hey Children’s Hospital that claims Alfie’s medical condition is too far gone and is threatening to remove his life support over his parents’ objection.
Alfie’s parents have lost their battle at every court level, as judges have sided with the hospital and its decision to remove Alfie’s life support despite their desire to provide him appropriate medical care and treatment and to take him to a hospital in Italy that has offered to try to help Alfie further.
Pope Francis has spoken out on behalf of Alfie before and yesterday received Tom Evans and spoke with him at length about the situation. Then Pope Francis spoke publicly, talking to thousands of people in St Peter’s Square about the duty to care for and protect human life.
Alfie’s father, Tom Evans, met with Pope Francis before the pope’s general audience and asked him to make a public appeal about the value of life. Evans clutched a green rosary during the emotional encounter, and a visibly moved pope embraced him, according to news reports.
At the private audience in the Pope’s residence, Tom read out a statement saying that his son was “sick but not dying” and asked the Pope to allow Alfie to be treated at the Vatican-run Bambino Gesù hospital.
After the meeting, Pope Francis spoke out publicly.
“It’s our duty to do everything to care for life,” Pope Francis told the crowd of thousands in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope then led a silent moment of prayer for the little boy.
“I would like to affirm and vigorously uphold that the only master of life — from its beginning to natural end — is God,” the pope said. He asked those at the audience to pray that the lives of all people, especially Alfie, be respected.
The leader of the Catholic Church expressed hope that Alfie would “always be respected in dignity and cared for in a way suitable to their conditions, with the agreement of family members, doctors and health workers.”
Alfie’s father also asked the Pope to consider granting his son asylum and told him: ‘Please help us save our innocent child and give us the grace of asylum to keep our family safe and to stop all of this.
‘If your holiness helps our child you will be potentially saving the future for our children in the UK, especially the disabled.
‘We pray the problem we are facing is solved peacefully and respectfully no child deserves this, especially not a child of God’.
In the 20 minute meeting set up by an Italian bishop the Pope offered new support from the Vatican’s secretary of state to ensure a ‘decisive diplomatic channel is opened up for Alfie’ and to ensure ‘the dignity of his life is respected’.
Tom Evans has asked the Pope to grant his son asylum.
Last July, Pope Francis spoke out on behalf of Charlie Gard, who died from a rare genetic disease after his parents waged a court fight to obtain treatment for him outside of Britain. That included an effort to get their son an experimental treatment in New York.
Yesterday, Tom Evans released a new photo of Alfie with his eyes open that he says ought to prove to the world that Alfie is not dying and that he is still fighting for life.