In The Wake Of Alfie Evans’ Death, Blame Is Falling On A Surprising Source

In the days since the death of little Alfie Evans in the UK, there has been well-deserved outrage from people all over the world who don’t understand why more was not done to save the little boy.

Blame has been focused, and rightly so, on a system of government-run healthcare in Britain where parents were denied the right to make decisions for their child time and time again.

Now, however, attention is being directed at another body with significant influence in Europe.  In the aftermath of Alfie’s death, you’ll be shocked at who is now coming under fire.

Christian Broadcasting Network reported:

Andrea Williams, the chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is representing Alfie’s father, told CBN News that Christian people across the globe rallied around the courageous toddler and his steadfast parents, but she said that wasn’t the case with the Church in the UK.

“But there is a reality that the established Church in the United Kingdom was silent,” Williams said. “The pope wasn’t silent, but the Church in Great Britain – personally the established Church was silent on this.”

“I think that definitely the Church of England was silent, and the Catholic Church in England wasn’t very loud,” she continued. “The pope was much louder, and there wasn’t any other Church voices in the United Kingdom that really came in and supported him.”

While Pope Francis remained steadfast in his fight to help the Evans family keep Alfie alive, many in Europe are saying the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, as well as the Church of England, did not do enough.

Father Gabriele Brusco, an Italian priest stationed in London, had been keeping a post at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, praying with the Evans family and administering sacraments.

While at the hospital, Father Brusco apparently confronted the staff who was caring for Alfie, saying they would face judgment for their sin of preventing further care for the child.

This situation led to local church leaders meeting with the pope to have Father Brusco recalled back to London.  He was removed as the Evans’ family spiritual support prior to Alfie’s death.

Devout British Christians — those of Catholic, Anglican, and other backgrounds – believe the clergy should have done more to intervene.

While Pope Francis worked to bring Alfie to Italy to continue treatment, British citizens are expressing concern that other members of the clergy were resigned to Alfie’s death and siding with the hospital.

LifeSite News reported:

Cardinal Vincent Nichols said some of those supporting Alfie Evans’ family were not serving Alfie’s best interests, and others were even using the boy’s illness “for political purposes.”

“In recent weeks, many people have held positions on Alfie, without knowing all of the facts,” he said. “This did not always serve the boy’s greatest good. Unfortunately, there were even those who used this situation for political purposes.”

Nichols said the staff at Alder Hey were “hurt” by these accusations, and the cardinal noted that many of the doctors and nurses caring for Alfie were Catholic.

And according to CBN News, Malcolm McMahon, the Archbishop of Liverpool stated:

“I am grateful for the medical and chaplaincy care which Alfie is receiving.”

“I know that they are doing everything that his humanly possible,” he continued, amid reports that Alfie’s father had to fight to get his son oxygen, hydration and nutrition. “And our prayer at this difficult moment is that the Lord will give everyone the spiritual strength to face the immediate future.”

“I am very aware of the compassion which is characteristically shown by the Italian people to those in need, and in this case Alfie,” he said. “But I know that our medical and legal systems in the UK are also based on compassion and the safeguarding of the rights of the individual child.”

These comments seemed to side with the hospital and the British government and sent shockwaves through British congregations, infuriating many who thought members of the Church hierarchy should not be praising a system that barred the rights of parents in the care of their child.

Perhaps the most notable rebuke of these comments came from the nephew of a famed Catholic philosopher of the twentieth century, who called the response of the Church an “abject failure.”

LifeSite News reported on the letter, calling out the remarks of some Church leaders who are supposed to value Life above all else.  The letter reads, in part:

Your Excellencies:  Though I can understand the desire to strike a conciliatory tone when both the stakes and emotions are running high, it is a gross understatement to call the wording of your declaration on the Alfie Evans case unfortunate, particularly given the emphasis on the apparent “integrity” of the medical staff and administrators of Alder Hey hospital.

A hospital that acts as a jail, imprisoning a child against his parents’ wishes and better judgement does not act with integrity…A hospital that refuses to call into question its (possible, if not likely, mis-) diagnosis does not act with integrity.

A hospital that seeks to oust a chaplain who is providing spiritual solace to a family in need and administering sacraments does not act with integrity…

A hospital that requests police presence to prevent parents from exercising their lawful right to remove their child from the hospital’s care – threatening parents with a conviction of assault if they so much as touch their child – does not act with integrity.

A hospital that refuses to hydrate or feed a child does not act with integrity.  More importantly — and worse than the unfortunate choice of words used in your declaration — is its abject failure to address the heart of the matter: the privileged link between children and their parents as their God-given custodians.

No mention is made in the declaration of the sanctity and dignity of human life.  No mention is made of the rights of parents as the primary educators and sole legitimate custodians of the child…

Emotions are still extremely high as the world reacts to an innocent child losing his life because a tyrannical government did not want him to live.

While blame may lie on many fronts, Catholics and other Christian congregations in the UK are outraged and heartbroken that some of their leaders may be taking a conciliatory approach that backs a political agenda.

CBN News continued:

Williams maintains the Church in the United Kingdom could have done so much more on behalf of Alfie. “This is part of the issue that we’re facing in the United Kingdom – when will the Church arise?” she told CBN News. “When will she find her voice and speak on behalf of the most vulnerable; speak for life. This was a chance.”

“I think it’s a reality generally for the Church in the West and firstly, in the United Kingdom that we are mute,” she continued. “We don’t know how, when to speak.  And we’ve become silent. We’ve allowed ourselves to be silenced. And this is tragic, and it’s tragic in a case such as Alfie’s,” Williams said.

One thing is clear, however – Alfie’s supporters are grieving and will not forget the government interference that prevented him a longer life, nor what the fight has taught them.

Alfie Evans will remain a symbol of hope and the sanctity of life – and what happens when those in authority place themselves ahead of parents and God Himself.

What do you think of the blame European Christians are putting on Church leadership?  Do you believe they should have done more to intervene in the UK government’s role in Alfie Evans’ death?  Leave us your thoughts.

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