Alfie Evans Case Unmasks Anti-Catholicism in UK Press

News: World News
by Stephen Wynne  •  •  April 26, 2018   

Writers trash Catholic response to euthanasia push

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LONDON ( - As Alfie Evans fights for his life in Liverpool's Alder Hey Hospital, anti-Catholicism is surfacing in the British press.

Writing in The Daily Mail Wednesday, Janet Street-Porter blasted the toddler's backers, saying "poor Alfie" has become "a tragic pawn in a religious war," with "his parents' fight ... hijacked by the Catholic Church."

Street-Porter criticized Tom Evans and Kate James for seeking help from the Church, urging them to "let go," to "put their child first" instead of trying to "whisk him away to another country on a wild goose chase."

The Daily Mirror's Susie Boniface went further, slamming Christians in general — and Catholics in particular — while veering into outright blasphemy.

On Wednesday, Boniface lashed out at Alfie's backers, calling them "bandwagon bandits who have leapt on his tragedy to push religious fundamentalism down our throats."

Janet Street-Porter

Mocking Christ, she wrote that "while many strange powers are attributed to Jesus and those who have faith in him, no one made a note of [H]is 'Miracle of the Regrowing Brain.'"

"But hey, the pope wants to help," Boniface continued. "A man who is the earthly representative of the deity who is theologically responsible for robbing a tiny baby of all higher cognitive function. Tell me this: if [serial killer] Fred West's mate offered to babysit, would you say yes?"

The columnist — who describes herself as "often sarcastic, occasionally right" — went on to imply that Christians should support destroying human life to save human life, lashing out at them for "arguing against the sort of embryonic research that may one day cure babies with the same condition as Alfie."

"If there is any such thing as evil incarnate, it is not inside Alder Hey," she wrote, instead, "It lies in the narrow minds of ignorant zealots who want to 'protect' Alfie while doing everything they can to ensure children like him suffer more."

"If that's what your God wants," Boniface added, "best you keep him to yourself."

Two parents asking to transfer their child from one hospital to another — I do not understand why this should be prevented; if not in Italy then in any other hospital in England.

Though Alfie's case has sparked outrage among Britons of all faiths, Catholic voices are among the loudest denouncing the push to euthanize the sick toddler.

Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù children's hospital has repeatedly offered to accept Alfie for treatment. Government leaders in Rome have granted the boy Italian citizenship in a bid to spur Alder Hey to release him.

Susie Boniface (Geoff Pugh)

Pope Francis has met privately with Tom Evans to encourage him and to pray for his son. Commending Evans for his perseverance, the pontiff said, "Thomas, you defend your son with courage, the same courage with which God defends His children."

Additionally, Francis has led the faithful in public prayer for Alfie. After meeting with Evans, the pope announced during his General Audience, "I would like to repeat and strongly confirm that the only Master of Life, from the beginning to the natural end, is God! And our duty is to do everything to protect life."

Likewise, Bp. Francesco Cavina of Carpi, who help facilitate Evans' meeting with Pope Francis, has made his voice heard.

Condemning Britain's medical and justice systems for refusing Alfie a chance to seek treatment in Italy, Caniva described their stance as "unbelievable."

"Two parents asking to transfer their child from one hospital to another — I do not understand why this should be prevented; if not in Italy then in any other hospital in England," he said. "It is hard to understand something like this."

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