Pope Francis used his Sunday Regina Coeli address to pray for Alfie Evans, saying his situation is “very painful and complex”.
The Pope called for Alfie’s human dignity to be respected, and said those who are terminally ill should be cared for “with the unanimous” support of family members and medical professionals.
The pontiff also prayed for Vincent Lambert, a 42-year-old Frenchman who has been quadriplegic 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.
“I entrust to your prayers persons like Vincent Lambert in France, and little Alfie Evans in England, and [persons] in various countries who live, sometimes for a long time, in a state of serious infirmity, and are medically assisted for their basic needs,” the Pope prayed.
“They are delicate, very painful and complex situations. Let us pray that every sick person is always respected in his dignity and cared for in a way that is suitable to his condition, with the unanimous support of family members, doctors and other medical professionals, with great respect for life.”
Archbishop Vincent Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, also issued a statement in support of Alfie Evans, and called for the reopening of dialogue between the parents and medical authorities.
“The story of little Alfie Evans of Liverpool, of his young parents Tom and Kate, and of all the people who over these long and painful months of illness have worked in different ways for the good of this child, in recent days has unfolded in all its terrible tragic effects,” Archbishop Paglia said.
“I pray for him and for the people involved, and I invite everyone to join in this intention before the Lord of life.
“I strongly hope that dialogue and cooperation can be reopened between the parents, who understandably are devastated by suffering, and the hospital authorities where Alfie has been treated until now, so that together they might seek Alfie’s complete good, and so that care for his life might not be reduced to a legal dispute.
“Alfie cannot be abandoned. Alfie must be loved, and so must his parents, through to the end.”