Pope Francis has responded to the death of little Alfie Evans, the disabled boy who died just days short of his 2nd birthday. Alfie died five days after a children’s hospital removed his life support without his parents consent.
The leader of the Catholic Church expressed the kind of sentiments that people around the world are expressing today. He talked about his sadness and he talked about Alfie being embraced by the Lord in heaven.
“I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie. Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace,” the pope tweeted on Saturday.
I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie. Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 28, 2018
Pope Francis had repeatedly spoken out on Alfie’s behalf and said his parents should have been able to remove him from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to take him home or receive treatment in Italy. The head of the Catholic Church also met with Alfie’s Father Tom Evans at the Vatican.
In his tweet previously, Pope Francis said, “Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.”
Previously, Pope Francis urged people worldwide to pray for Alfie as his parents continue to fight for his life.
The Pope was speaking to crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday for his weekly Regina Coeli address. Alfie Evans was among the causes the Pope requested prayers for, saying: “I entrust to your prayer persons such as Vincent Lambert in France, little Alfie Evans in England, and others in several countries who live, sometimes for a long time, in a state of grave illness, assisted medically for their primary needs.”
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Francis acknowledged the “delicate”, “painful” and “complex” situations surrounding these cases and asked that the sick are always treated “with great respect for life…with the harmonious contribution of the family, of doctors and of other health workers”.
On Sunday the pontiff also prayed for Vincent Lambert, a 42-year-old Frenchman who has been disabled for 10 years. His hospital recently ordered the removal of his food and water, against the wishes of his parents and the advice of other doctors.
Before that, Pope Francis sent out a tweet supporting Alfie. He expressed his hopes on Twitter that “everything necessary would be done” to help the child, who suffers from a mystery brain disorder.
The Holy Father tweeted: “It is my sincere hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard. I am praying for Alfie, for his family and for all who are involved.”