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Photo: Alfie Evans, courtesy of Alfies Army Official Facebook

Pray for Alfie Evans

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By Chris Sparks (Apr 26, 2018)
Alfie Evans isn't dead.

That's in spite of the expectations of his doctors; a court ruling that his life support should be removed; and every bit of worldly logic.

The little boy with the mysterious brain disease has become the focus of international attention in the wake of Pope Francis taking up his cause, championing his parents' right to seek medical treatment outside of Alder Hey Hospital in England, where the hospital and the British judiciary have determined it's time to cease treatment, time to cease providing "ventilation" to help Alfie breathe, time to overrule the wishes of the parents and, essentially, time for Alfie to die.

But Alfie Evans isn't dead, and it's inconvenient for the British government, the British National Health Service (NHS), and for the culture of death.

Alfie Evans isn't dead.

But why?

Alfie's life support was removed, but he has continued to breathe on his own. His doctors apparently are stunned. His father, Tom Evans, says Alfie is fighting. The media coverage calls Alfie's condition undiagnosed.

Alfie Evans isn't dead.

Faith, hope, and love persist in the face of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Faith, hope, and love abide, even until the end of time, after which love alone remains (see 1 Cor 13).

It is faith, hope, and love that continue to abide by the bedside of Alfie Evans, and that cause his parents to fight. Is it possible to be selfishly selfless? Is it possible to sacrifice so much to save one little life and to be doing it for all the wrong reasons? Any number of commenters have emerged in the comments boxes of news coverage of the case, claiming that's precisely the case, who speak of selfishly refusing to allow someone's sufferings (though it's unclear if Alfie is suffering) to ease, of parents selfishly fighting to keep their child alive.

In this reading, making enormous sacrifices of time, perhaps money, and God only knows what sacrifices of stress all manifest an inability to accept reality, let Alfie go, and move on with life.

It seems an odd sort of selfishness, though — parents wanting their child to live.

It's a strange selfishness that offers to take the child to a foreign land in order to perhaps, possibly, have the child survive.

It seems like the sort of selfishness practiced a long time ago, in another land, far away, when a Mother and Child, accompanied by a workingman father, fled a government that sought the life of the Child; a government that was inconvenienced by the life of the Child; a government that sought the deaths of many others, right around Alfie's age, when that government of Herod could not find and end the life of the Christ Child.

And the hospital that has offered to help Alfie, the hospital that has sent its own representatives to Alder Hey Hospital and provided the means of transport — that hospital is named "Bambino Gesu," the Baby Jesus.

One Child, helping another child, if only the world would get out of the way.

Italy has granted Alfie citizenship and sent a military aircraft to bring him to the Bambino Gesu whenever it can.

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Mt 19:13-14)


The Holy Father has tweeted:

Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.


Let us join our prayers to his, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Rosary for the healing, protection, and care of Alfie Evans. Let us speak out, taking part in the New Evangelization, helping to change minds and hearts through our prayerful, peaceful, loving witness to the Gospel of Life in word, deed, and intercession. Let us ask the Holy Family to help Alfie and his parents in all their needs, trusting in their powerful intercession to bring this situation to the best possible resolution.

Let us pray.

The Gospel of Life
Saint John Paul II, in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, created the blueprints for the Church's New Evangelization about the value and dignity of every human life. Here are some key portions of the text, at times outlined for clarity:

The Second Vatican Council, in a passage which retains all its relevance today, forcefully condemned a number of crimes and attacks against human life.

Thirty years later, taking up the words of the Council and with the same forcefulness I repeat that condemnation in the name of the whole Church, certain that I am interpreting the genuine sentiment of every upright conscience:

Whatever is opposed to:

• life itself, such as
- any type of murder,
- genocide,
- abortion,
- euthanasia, or
- willful self-destruction;

• whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as
- mutilation,
- torments inflicted on body or mind,
- attempts to coerce the will itself;

• whatever insults human dignity, such as
- subhuman living conditions,
- arbitrary imprisonment,
- deportation,
- slavery,
- prostitution,
- the selling of women and children;

• as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons.

All these things and others like them are infamies indeed.

They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practise them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonour to the Creator.5 ...

Unfortunately, this disturbing state of affairs, far from decreasing, is expanding: with the new prospects opened up by scientific and technological progress there arise new forms of attacks on the dignity of the human being. At the same time a new cultural climate is developing and taking hold, which gives crimes against life a new and-if possible-even more sinister character, giving rise to further grave concern: broad sectors of public opinion justify certain crimes against life in the name of the rights of individual freedom, and on this basis they claim not only exemption from punishment but even authorization by the State, so that these things can be done with total freedom and indeed with the free assistance of health-care systems.

All this is causing a profound change in the way in which life and relationships between people are considered. The fact that legislation in many countries, perhaps even departing from basic principles of their Constitutions, has determined not to punish these practices against life, and even to make them altogether legal, is both a disturbing symptom and a significant cause of grave moral decline. Choices once unanimously considered criminal and rejected by the common moral sense are gradually becoming socially acceptable. Even certain sectors of the medical profession, which by its calling is directed to the defence and care of human life, are increasingly willing to carry out these acts against the person. In this way the very nature of the medical profession is distorted and contradicted, and the dignity of those who practise it is degraded. In such a cultural and legislative situation, the serious demographic, social and family problems which weigh upon many of the world's peoples and which require responsible and effective attention from national and international bodies, are left open to false and deceptive solutions, opposed to the truth and the good of persons and nations.

The end result of this is tragic: not only is the fact of the destruction of so many human lives still to be born or in their final stage extremely grave and disturbing, but no less grave and disturbing is the fact that conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life. ...

"Just as a century ago it was the working classes which were oppressed in their fundamental rights, and the Church very courageously came to their defence by proclaiming the sacrosanct rights of the worker as a person, so now, when another category of persons is being oppressed in the fundamental right to life, the Church feels in duty bound to speak out with the same courage on behalf of those who have no voice. Hers is always the evangelical cry in defence of the world's poor, those who are threatened and despised and whose human rights are violated".7

Today there exists a great multitude of weak and defenceless human beings, unborn children in particular, whose fundamental right to life is being trampled upon. If, at the end of the last century, the Church could not be silent about the injustices of those times, still less can she be silent today, when the social injustices of the past, unfortunately not yet overcome, are being compounded in many regions of the world by still more grievous forms of injustice and oppression, even if these are being presented as elements of progress in view of a new world order. ...

To all the members of the Church, the people of life and for life, I make this most urgent appeal, that together we may offer this world of ours new signs of hope, and work to ensure that justice and solidarity will increase and that a new culture of human life will be affirmed, for the building of an authentic civilization of truth and love.



FOOTNOTES
5 — Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 27.
7 — Cf. Letter to all my Brothers in the Episcopate regarding the "Gospel of Life" (19 May 1991): Insegnamenti XIV, 1 (1991), p. 1294.

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No Country Has The Right To Play God - Apr 26, 2018

When a government denies the rights of parents to protect their child and plays God it reveals the face of evil. Pray for Alfie and his parents that they will be allowed to go to Italy for the help offered to them.

Praying for you Sweet Angel - Apr 26, 2018

Praying for this sweet angel, and his family. These prayers are coming from New York, USA. Please know that many Americans are praying.

Our Blessed Mother's apostle - Apr 26, 2018

Please pray a rosary for Alfie and his parents. Our Blessed Mother will take your prayers straight to Jesus! Miracles do happen.

Diana Laveena D'souza - Apr 26, 2018

Please respect for life. Please don't take their life. This Child belongs to Jesus. Please don't take child's life. Jesus loves this child to live.