UK Bishops Double Down

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by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.  •  •  July 19, 2018   

Continue to praise hospital after Alfie Evans' death

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UK's Catholic bishops are doubling down after the death of Alfie Evans.

In a statement released the day the toddler died, the archbishop of Liverpool thanked Alder Hey Hospital for its "professional care of Alfie."

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, head of the U.K. bishops, went even farther, demonizing critics in comments made over the weekend, claiming some Alfie supporters "sought political capital" from the case and pursued avenues that "didn't serve the good of the child."

He was likely referring to British leaders who blasted the bishops for their inaction.

Member of Parliament Nadine Dorries tweeted, "Catholic bishops and priests of England, hang your heads in shame. It took the Pope to show you up for the weak, pathetic, blow with the winds that you truly are."

Member of European Parliament Steven Woolfe said, "You let a Catholic family down, Catholics in the country and an empty statement, more concerned with political correctness and sub blame of the masses. If you want to empty the aisles you are doing a good job."

In his comments, Nichols defended the hospital, supporting its decision to let Alfie die, also defending the courts' repeated rejections of the parents' pleas for their son, saying, "[T]his is why a court must decide what's best not for the parents, but for the child."

Nichols cited Catholic teaching to justify his stance, but Catholic doctrine makes clear food and water can not be removed if it becomes the direct cause of death. Alfie survived five days after his breathing tube was removed, denied oxygen and water for the first nine hours, and denied food for 36 hours.

Those present at his death claim Alfie's oxygen levels were high and his heartbeat normal the day he died, giving hope to his parents. But a nurse came in, gave him a cocktail of unknown drugs, and within two hours, he was dead.


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