VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - The father of a sick British infant is asking Pope Francis to step in and "save our son" amid a legal battle to pull the plug.
Tom Evans, father of Alfie Evans, the 23-month-old child with a rare degenerative neurological condition, met in a private audience with the Holy Father on Wednesday "to plea for asylum" and to "bring him, here, to Italy at Bambin Gesu [Hospital] where we know he is safe and he will not be euthanized."
"When Alfie shows me and his mum any sign of suffering or dying, we will enjoy every last moment with him but Alfie has not yet shown us he is ready to go, so we continue to fight just as he shows us to," said Evans to Pope Francis. "If Your Holiness helps our child, Your Holiness will be potentially saving the future for our children in the U.K., especially the disabled."
Following the meeting, the pope entrusted Italian Bp. Francesco Cavina of Carpi to preserve relations between the Vatican's Secretariat of State and the family "so that all initiatives be taken to transfer the child to the Bambino Gesù in Rome."
The Holy Father commended Evans for his perseverance, saying, "Thomas, you defend your son with courage, the same courage with which God defends His children."
I once again draw your attention to Vincent Lambert and little Alfie Evans, and 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. Let us think in silence, and let us pray that the life of all people be respected and especially these two brothers of ours. Let us pray in silence.
Evans appealed to the pope through the archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon, in a letter on Sunday, affirming that he and Evans are baptized Catholics after speculation emerged that he was not Catholic. He said, "I was baptized and confirmed, and I'm looking to you as my shepherd and to the Holy Father as the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth."
He continued, insisting, "That's why I knocked on the Church's door, asking for help in order to save my son from being euthanized! ... So please, Your Excellency, do accept my request for help and bring my voice to the Holy Father."
An internal memo from the archdiocese was leaked on Monday, in which an archdiocesan auxiliary bishop offered support "to doctors and staff" of Alder Hey even though they have "not met with the parents who, it is understood, are not Roman Catholic."
The memo also said the hospital is acting "in the best interests of Alfie" and describes Alder Hey as "a center of excellence" while including statements from the hospital and Liverpool police concerning the recent peaceful protests outside the hospital.
The pope also offered his prayers for Alfie and Lambert in Sunday's Regina Coeli address in St. Peter's Square, saying, "I entrust to your prayers the people, such as Vincent Lambert in France, little Alfie Evans in England, and others in various countries, who live, at times for long periods, in a state of severe infirmity, medically assisted in their basic needs."
"These are delicate, very painful and complex situations. Let us pray that every sick person may always be respected in his/her dignity, and cared for in a way suited to his/her condition, with the unanimous support of family members, physicians and other healthcare professionals, with great respect for life," continued the Holy Father.
Evans and James' son was born healthy in May 2016 but after missing a number of developmental milestones, Alfie's parents knew something was wrong. In December of that year, the sick toddler suffered a chest infection and was hospitalized for seizures. He has remained on life support at Alder Hey ever since.