Thursday the 25th of February

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Pope and bishops pray as parents of Charlie Gard end legal struggle for help

Pope Francis is praying for the parents of Charlie Gard after a US doctor told them nothing could be done to help their son.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates announced in London’s High Court on 24th July that they had ended their legal struggle to take their baby overseas for treatment after a US neurologist, Dr Michio Hirano, said he was no longer willing to offer Charlie experimental nucleoside therapy after he examined the results of a new MRI scan.

Their decision means that the child, who suffers from encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, will receive only palliative care and most likely will die before his first birthday on 4th August.

Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said in a 24th July statement that Pope Francis, who had taken a personal interest in the case, “is praying for Charlie and his parents and feels especially close to them at this time of immense suffering.”

He said: “The Holy Father asks that we join in prayer that they may find God’s consolation and love.”

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales also issued a statement July 24 in which they expressed their “deepest sympathy and compassion” for Charlie and his parents.

“It is for Charlie, his parents and family that we all pray, hoping that they are able, as a family, to be given the support and the space to find peace in the days ahead,” the statement said.

Picture: Charlie Gard’s parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates. (Jonathan Brady/PA Wire).