PopeWatch: Alfie Evans



PopeWatch has usually been highly critical of Pope Francis, but the Pope is deserving of nothing but praise for his efforts on behalf of Alfie Evans:


For the time being, Alfie remains at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool. Doctors removed his ventilator just after 9:00 yesterday evening. Instead of dying, the baby started to breathe on his own. He was eventually given oxygen as well as hydration. Parents Tom and Kate would like to take their son to a hospital in Italy, but the hospital has refused to comply with their wishes.

It remains unclear how many days Alfie may be expected to live. So far, he has defied expectations of the medical profession.

During the hearing, Mr Justice Hayden criticized Alfie’s parents’ friends, saying they had been giving the young couple false hope. “It’s profoundly depressing to say the least,” he said. He called one of their entourage a “fanatical and deluded young man.”

The judge also “slapped down” Paul Diamond, the family’s lawyer,  “for highly-charged  language” Hayden called “ridiculous emotive nonsense,” according to Josh Halliday of the Guardian.

An Alder Hey doctor told the court of colleagues’ “genuine fear” in the “hostile atmosphere” around the hospital. She claimed it was “heartbreaking we’re here again arguing when all we want to do is the best for Alfie’s family.”

But a friend close to the family tweeted that such a comment lost sight of what is really at stake in the case, namely, Alfie’s life.

“Translation: Heartbreaking that his parents are pleading for his life when we’ve tried to end it and not been successful. Remember what Alder Hey consider the best for this family is: the death of their son,” tweeted Caroline Farrow.

A member of staff, appearing in scrubs, said that moving patients home “does not happen overnight” and only after extensive consideration and discussion.

Alfie’s parents, Thomas Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, have fought tirelessly for Alfie to receive treatment from a hospital other than Alder Hey, first in the British courts system, then before the European Court of Human Rights, which finally ruled against their desire to have Alfie treated in Italy.

After Hayden set a date for Alfie to be removed from life-support, the couple began another battle, arguing that their parental rights were being violated and that Alfie was being unlawfully detained. The parents were defeated in the UK Court of Appeal, denied a hearing by the UK Supreme Court and then denied a hearing by the European Commission.

Despite the support of Pope Francis for Alfie and his parents, and the eleventh-hour gift of Italian citizenship upon Alfie by the Italian government, Hayden ruled last night that Alfie’s life support should be removed.

But then Alfie began to breathe on his own. He has now survived without a ventilator since 9:17 BST (British Summer Time) last night. After his parents’ entreaties, the hospital allowed the child oxygen and water. It remains unclear if he is receiving adequate nutrition and hydration. 

Go here to read the rest.  So in the United Kingdom a child may be put to death, and his parents attempting to save his life are insulted by an idiot Judge, with all the power of the State arrayed to make certain that the parents can do nothing.  We can therefore assume that children in the United Kingdom are solely the property of the State, that in the final analysis parents have no rights to act to save their child, and that it is preferable to put an ill or disabled child to death rather than allowing parents to seek alternative means to save the child’s life.  Madness, sheer madness.



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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Formerly great britain is home to bleating sheep and their overseers. I truly believe the mere threat posed by the 2nd Amendment means it won’t happen here. God Bless Alfie and his parents.

  2. Foxfier.

    Yes. A bad novel or another version of a Monty Python skit.
    ( Can’t quite remember…but they were “bringing out the dead.” One man on the cart is alive. “I’m not dead! Yes you are..whack!”)

    It is a sad comparison…but an accurate one.

  3. I believe that was in “Search for the Holy Grail.”

    I’m also reminded of the hospital in Texas that was going to “stop support” on an adult-but-declared-vegetative guy, and his father went in to the room on Christmas eve with a gun. (Father was not granted a say, his estranged wife and their older, no-history-of-seizures son were. Basically because they agreed to pull life support.)

    You probably heard about it on the news, the kid had an amazing recovery, dad got a token amount of time in jail, etc.

    Not so much heard was that SWAT was totally flipping out when they got there, because they couldn’t find the vegetative patient who was to be denied food and water (euphemistically described as “taken off life support,” so as to conflate it with removing the machines breathing for people)– the patient in the room with the guy during the stand off was obviously responsive, according to the doctor on the SWAT team.

    The father and son gave joint interviews the next Christmas.
    Oddly little was heard from the mother and brother who wanted him killed….

  4. I am quite the critic of the Pope myself, but justice means he deserves praise here. He has strained mightily on behalf of Alfie Evans. And may God bless him for it.

  5. “In a special way, believers in Christ must defend and promote this right, aware as they are of the wonderful truth recalled by the Second Vatican Council: “By his incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every human being”.2 This saving event reveals to humanity not only the boundless love of God who “so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3:16), but also the incomparable value of every human person.

    The Church, faithfully contemplating the mystery of the Redemption, acknowledges this value with ever new wonder.3 She feels called to proclaim to the people of all times this “Gospel”, the source of invincible hope and true joy for every period of history. The Gospel of God’s love for man, the Gospel of the dignity of the person and the Gospel of life are a single and indivisible Gospel.”

    Excerpt from EVANGELIUM VITAE.

  6. Foxfier.
    Thanks….yes that was the one. Holy Grail movie.
    Texas story and SWAT story are so disappointing.
    Such a lack of respect for human life.
    The State as God is alive and well.

  7. Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams is the Apostolic Nuncio to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. What are the chances that he could pull off a Raoul Wallenberg, walk into that hospital, and hand Alfie and his parents Vatican diplomatic passports if the Pope so ordered?

  8. The judges and doctors clearly see two young parents and are taking advantage of their inexperience and vulnerability. It’s nothing more than a power trip. I pray God to intervene if it be His Will. This is so unfair for this little boy. And so unfair for his parents.

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