Pope and President on Charlie Gard

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Pope Francis and President Trump are gearing up to help Charlie Gard:


And now, the Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesu, also colloquially dubbed the “Pope’s Hospital,” has offered to take in the terminally-ill 10-month-old boy.

The president of the hospital, Mariella Enoc, told CNN she had asked doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital “to verify whether the health conditions exist to possibly transfer Charlie to our hospital.”

Charlie has been at the centre of a lengthy legal battle involving his parents, who want to take him to the US for experimental therapy, and doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

A family spokesman said: “The White House has been in talks with Charlie’s family, GOSH, the UK Government, the Department of Health and the American doctor who wants to treat Charlie.

“President Trump has a very good understanding of the whole case and he did not make an off-the-cuff tweet.”


Go here to read the rest.  This is so heartening.  Rumors are that the Pope wants to issue Vatican passports to Charlie and his parents and the Trump administration is making plain to the UK government that the US wants Charlie to receive the treatment that his parents wish him to make.  Go Pope!  Go President!

More to explorer


  1. Charlie Gard’s rational soul belongs to God. Charlie Gard’s human body belongs to God. Charlie Gard belongs to God, to his parents and finally to the community of sovereign persons of “We, the people”, the state. The Court is the personification of God’s perfect Justice. Imperfect Justice is injustice. Who can countermand God’s perfect Justice? Tremble before God’s perfect Justice. Atheistic totalitarianism is the alternative.

  2. Ms. De Voe, no one belongs to the State, and no human court is the personification of God’s justice. Imperfect justice is not necessarily injustice. Sometimes in human affairs there is enough uncertainty to make it very unclear what “perfect justice” would be. Are you saying that we have to accept a human court’s rulings as God’s perfect justice? No Christian teaching has ever said that; the closest to that way of thinking in history, I think, was the so-called “divine right of kings.” Is that or something similar what you are espousing?

    Jim Cole

  3. This latest development is God through the Holy Spirit answering prayers. Prayers need to be continued.

  4. Stories now say that U.S. doctors want to fly to London with the experimental treatments if nothing else works out. It the London doctors now say “No thanks” we will have to take the adjective ‘monsters’ and capitalize it.

  5. Ya know, it would be really brazen of the Vatican to issue passports to the Gard family. To complete their escape they would probably have to renounce their British citizenship. This would be quite the event! Could they get away with it, or would Whitehall still fight?

  6. TomD: I think Whitehall would still fight. It is not Brexit all over again.
    Jim Cole Citizens belong to the community of persons known as the state through informed consent. The difference between communism and freedom is in informed consent of the sovereign person. Yes, all judges must realize that they’re judging persons with the Justice of God, the judges act in the personification of the virtue of Justice. The virtue of Justice is perfect or it is a vice.
    The sovereign person made in the image of The Supreme Sovereign Being is Lord and Master of himself. Young men are called Master.
    God save the court surely means that the Justices recognize their weakness and acknowledge God’s perfect Justice. Divine Providence is invoked in our Declaration of Independence..

  7. Jim, no one? I recall being in the Navy under the UCMJ “Universal Code of Military Justice, and was informed that I was government property, and that if I got a tattoo, and if got infected I could be subject to a court martial for damaging government property.

  8. The perplexing issue here is why , if the family has donated funds, the government will not release the child. Is it a matter of medical arrogance, “if we cannot, you cannot either”? This would be infantile.
    The larger issue is, do we or the Vatican hospital teuely have a reasonable chance to positively help this child. MD

  9. Don L: “…the UCMJ “Universal Code of Military Justice”. Who you are, that is your rational, immortal human soul, your sovereign personhood, your innate human rights and civil rights are to be defended by you and the “UCMJ” The “UCMJ” is on your side in defending your health and safety. What you are, your office of GI government issue, is your job title and office to which you gave consent in a sworn oath. To go back on your oath would be deleterious to your soul, your body and your country. Thanks for your service with and without your insight into how important your service is and was. Jesus said: “Blessed are they who do not see and still believe.”

  10. I am a vociferously conservative Catholic convert and retired pediatric intensive care physician with 35 years of experience and a long history of helping families in end of life situations. I can tell you from what I see from the outside that somewhere along the way, the relationship between this family and the hospital staff went off the rails. With that said, I have taken care of this exact patient a number of times, and I can tell you also that the general public has no clue about this little boy’s condition. His disease affects energy production in the cells and affects the most metabolically active organs the most, such as the brain. The brain degenerates, literally melts away and the patient becomes completely dependent on intensive care support. While some say since the baby is unconscious, there is no suffering. I say this is crass and ignores the Catholic core teaching on dignity. Unfortunately, there are many settings where parents have great difficulty making decisions in the best interests of their child – in this case, guilt from the child’s inherited genetic disease. The parents feel at fault, just as if through negligence a toddler suffers a drowning incident in the family pool. It is a terrible psychology for the parents to navigate through.
    Removing the ventilator in a terminal illness is not actively killing the patient. It is allowing natural death to occur. In an end of life setting, any action which ineffectively prolongs life and heartbeat can be termed heroic. Continuing all of the intensive care procedures that are possible is tantamount to taking the end of life decision out of God’s hands. We would all do well to go to the Catechism and JP II’s writings on the end of life to better understand Catholic teaching on end of life and natural death. The Catholic moral tradition does not oblige the use of medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to their expected outcome.

  11. I have no doubt the parents have no illusions about the odds against Charlie, but they want to explore all options for their son before tossing in the towel. That should be their decision and not the decision of courts or of medical professionals.

  12. Ms. De Voe:

    I find it hard enough as a lawyer to persuade judges to adhere to the laws of the State and Nation. To say anything less than “perfect justice” is a vice is contrary to right reason, human experience, and the virtue of prudence.

    Don L.: Well, I’ve heard versions of what you recounted in regard to the military before, and I had clean forgotten them. I’ll concede that the State functions so as to rent human beings every now and then, so to speak, especially when drafting them for war, but I don’t think we should ever concede that the State owns a single human being.

    All: I did not mean to distract attention from the main point of the article. I hope the judge who holds life-and-death power over Charlie Gard will hear the evidence fairly and acknowledge that the parents of this little lad have the best natural right to determine his treatment and the responsibility to do the very best they can to let him live. No one loves him more than they, and no one wants more to minimize any suffering he may have.

    Jim Cole

  13. “I find it hard enough as a lawyer to persuade judges to adhere to the laws of the State and Nation. To say anything less than “perfect justice” is a vice is contrary to right reason, human experience, and the virtue of prudence.”
    Justice conceived in GRACE is perfect Justice. Justice conceived with no grace is a disgrace.
    Roe never bore the burden of proof that the newly conceived is not a sovereign person. Roe disenfranchised every male human being who has ever procreated a child of God. The Charlie Gard case is simply the mindset of contempt for parental rights, contempt for the sovereign person and elevation of the state to totalitarianism.
    Jim Cole: The state does not “rent” men for war by the draft. The sovereign person who is a citizen of a people ought to profess patriotism and love of country. In the words of St. Joan of Arc: “FOR GOD AND FRANCE. “FOR GOD AND AMERICA.”
    Mary De Voe
    The state cannot keep Charlie Gard against the wishes of his parents while there is hope elsewhere. Charlie is not dead yet. Killing Charlie Gard to meet the expectation of the law in the state and in the church denies the parents their hope. When Charlie Gard is dead you can say: “I told you so”, but until then, the parents have their God-given duty as parents.

  14. There are two categories of decisions that parents make – one is substituted judgment, in which the parents make decisions on behalf of the child, who can’t make decisions on their own This decisions are made with the assumption that all things are possible – schools, education, etc. The second set of decisions that parents make are “best interests” decisions- we consent for a child to have surgery, to undergo a painful procedure in order to overcome an illness, to receive cancer chemotherapy that will cause the kids to vomit, require transfusions, hair fall out, etc. End of life decisions are in this category.
    Are parents always best suited to make that best interest decision on behalf of their child? You won’t want to hear this, but the answer is no. I have seen many cases over the years where issues prevented parents from making that best interest decision, from being able to see their child’s suffering and loss of dignity. The following are only a few examples. Parent(s) with mental illnesses, severe guilt because a tragedy occurred that was preventable (drowning, car crash while texting, medication ingestion, etc), cases where child abuse had occurred and the child’s death would distinguish a murder charge from child endangerment – a much lesser crime and sentence. The other scenarios that traps parents in their guilt are serious, life threatening/shortening genetic syndromes such as this, where the parents blame themselves for the child’s situation. They often don’t express this guilt, but they have it. Wouldn’t you, as a parent in a similar situation? Such families have much more difficulty accepting the reality of their children’s situation.

    At what point does “exploring all options” become inhumane? What if they wanted chelation therapy, trials of hyper vitamin doses, dialysis to remove toxins…etc? This little boy is at the end of life just like your or my elderly parents some day. Would you treat your parents this way? Should parental guilt be the main driving force in the parents’ decisions about care? Only in heaven can he be made whole.

    Many folks clamoring for justice for Charlie simply fail to understand the realities the child is facing and fail to really understand the concept of human dignity at the end of life, as so beautifully lived by JP II. It is viewpoints such as these that are responsible for almost 80% of the immense total of health care dollars being spent on end of life care in the Western world. The pendulum has swung from the paternalistic model of health care decision making in the 60’s and 70’s to the present a la carte medicine where families and patients look on medicine as a commodity and on providers as if they were on the other side of a counter at Macy’s.
    You perhaps haven’t seen children whose bodies were disfigured and made unrecognizable by their parent’s’ choices in the intensive care unit – parents who “wanted everything done.” You know nothing about the the moral and ethical distress experienced by the hospital staff in such settings – all because there is a culture of avoidance in society when it comes to confronting death. This is not Catholic. No, it is not.
    Life is not to be thrown away out of inconvenience, like it is with abortion and euthanasia. This is so entirely different.
    Since parental autonomy now reigns supreme, vaccinations are being routinely ignored, resulting in the recurrence of deaths and illness from diseases once thought to be wiped out. Catholic teaching has always been about the appropriate balance between personal autonomy and the good of society. That’s why we have laws, taxes, and why the Catechism supports a country having a national defense.

  15. David L: If the Holy Spirit is leading Charlie Gard’s parents, the government better respect the parents’ decision. Or literally all hell will break loose.

  16. “What if they wanted”

    That is called “a parade of horribles” in my profession, the law, and I always find it completely unconvincing. Restricting ourselves to the facts of this case the parents want to have cutting edge treatment given that may help their son. It is beyond belief to me that anyone could believe that they do not have the right to do so.

  17. The “bottom-line” is rationing. Socialist health/single-payer “care” is rationed health care with the over-weaning state/Big Brother making all the life-and-death decisions.

    If you’re old and in the UK, you had better stay out the emergency room. For years, the UK has placed on the fats track to the tomb/denied health care to oldsters that surpassed their “expiration dates.”

    ONE intent of the ACA was to bring that to the USA.

  18. DavidL, I fully understand what you are saying. I come from a family stocked full of medical professionals (doctor, nurse, cytologist, pharmacist, hospital secretary, malpractice attorney, medical software developer among other titles), so the idea of a family in denial is quite foreign to me. We understand these issues quite well. n the early stages of a case like this, with the possibility of experimental treatment, that should not really matter.

    One thought that really bothers me is the idea that experimental treatment was available for Charlie before irreversible damage set in and it was denied. The news reports say nothing either way, but I have personally seen how people with power can make the worst possible choices for others. Such a chain of events is not outside the realm of possibility.

  19. TomD-
    I got a heavy whiff of that, too– especially with the judge-group declaring that even if the treatment worked, he’d be better off dead.

    Kind of makes it hard to support a case that the kid’s best interest are really involved.

  20. Are parents always best suited to make that best interest decision on behalf of their child? You won’t want to hear this, but the answer is no.

    I won’t read your mind by telling you “you won’t want to hear this”, but DavidL your words do imply that there is always someone other than parents best suited to make decisions “on behalf of their child”.

    What if they (Charlie Gard’s parents) wanted chelation therapy, trials of hyper vitamin doses, dialysis to remove toxins…etc?

    You left out bleeding with leeches. Oh wait, doctors did that! Physicians are also among the practitioners and advocates of “wanted chelation therapy, trials of hyper vitamin doses, dialysis to remove toxins” and probably all of the “etc?” you could name.

    DavidL, you overlook that the course of action Charlie Gard’s parents wish for their boy hasn’t been found to be irrational or unscientific.

    The Vatican Radio report that has been widely misrepresented (PJMedia, I’m looking at you) clearly reminds us that “the wishes of parents must heard and respected, but they too must be helped to understand the unique difficulty of their situation and not be left to face their painful decisions alone.” “Helped”, not be overridden by the State’s licensees or others acting as functionaries of the State.

    Poor Britain, their people followed Henry the Heretic when he broke bad and the price of that grave error has not been paid in full yet.

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