The Catholic Association (TCA) is calling on all faithful Catholics to “stand apart” from the UK bishops and Church leadership siding with the government against gravely-ill, 23 month-old Alfie Evans’ parents’ efforts to save his life.
After a UK judge refused to allow Alfie’s parents take him out of the hospital and to Rome for medical treatment - thus, sentencing Alfie to death by starvation - TCA posted a Tweet linking to its statement supporting Pope Francis’ call on the British government to free Alfie to seek medical care:
In its statement, TCA called Catholic bishops and lay leaders siding with the government – and against Alfie’s life – “disgusting and shameful,” “confusing and disappointing”:
“It’s confusing and disappointing to see the Catholic leadership in the U.K., both the bishops and lay leaders like Austen Ivereigh of Catholic Voices U.K., abandon Catholic social teaching and split from the Pope by defending the government instead of Alfie and his family.
“The Church has long been the first and only voice to speak out for truth and defend the vulnerable. True to that legacy, the Pope spoke out in defense of Alfie Evans and the fundamental human rights of his parents to do all they can to save the life of their child.
“The Pope heroically spoke out for them long before outlets like People magazine were fretting over the fate of this toddler, who is now being held hostage in his hospital and slowly starved to death. The Catholic faithful along with citizens of good will around the world have rallied and stood with the Pope and with Alfie and his parents in defending their rights and defending the beauty of Catholic social teaching – which expressly condemns exactly what the U.K. government is doing: denying Alfie’s parents their rights to what is best for their child and forcing the child to suffer in his last moments.”
TCA urges “all faithful Catholics to stand with Pope Francis” and “stand apart” from anyone who opposes allowing Alfie’s parents to “seek alternative treatment that has been generously offered” by the Italian government, which has granted Alfie citizenship:
“It is moments such as these that Catholics, especially leaders like Austen Ivereigh, are called to stand apart from the fray and defend the truth even when it contradicts the powers that be. We thank the Pope for his leadership and look to U.K. Catholic leaders to join him in standing for Church teaching.”
“The parents of Alfie Evans have a natural right to accept the Vatican hospital’s offer to try to extend the life of Alfie and provide more humane care. Baby Alfie and his parents should not be prisoners of a British hospital. The failure of the British Catholic Bishops and so-called leaders like Catholic Voices of England to recognize these simple and basic truths is disgusting and shameful. We urge all faithful Catholics to stand with Pope Francis, who called on the British government to allow Baby Alfie’s parents to seek the alternative treatment that has been generously offered.”