Vatican’s impossible attempt to give citizenship to little Charlie

Vatican’s impossible attempt to give citizenship to little Charlie

By Domenico Agasso jr and Andrea Tornielli/ Rome

In the Holy See they are trying whatever they can to help little Charlie. The deployment of Papal diplomatic forces is at maximum levels. The possibility of giving the 10-month-old severely ill English child, a Vatican citizenship, has also been studied but it would not solve the legal question. Indeed two days ago, Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin had said: “We will do our best to overcome legal problems” that are preventing Charlie Gard from being transferred from the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London where he is hospitalized and where it was decided to stop the life-support treatments considered unnecessary, to the Roman hospital Bambino Gesù, owned by the Holy See. The Legal problems “are related to nationality, and to the fact that parents cannot bring the child out of the country without the permission of the authorities.”

On Tuesday, the Vatican State Secretariat evaluated the possibility of making Charlie Gard a citizen of the “Pope’s State”: at first, it seemed like a viable legal way to get Charlie into the pediatric hospital chaired by Mariella Enoc. The Holy See’s diplomacy did not meet or question British government officials, but dealt with the apostolic nuncio (the permanent ambassador of the Holy See) in Britain, Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, and was in contact with Charlie’s family. But it was all worthless: it is clear now not even this solution would work.

In fact, the green light for the child’s transfer from London would only come if the Bambino Gesù Hospital were willing to execute the British Supreme Court’s ruling, i.e. to unplug the machinery that keeps the infant victim of a rare illness, alive. Of course, as Enoc confirmed, the Pope’s hospital “cannot consider this opportunity”. And “the Farnesina received the same response as ours from the London Hospital - adds Enoc - They cannot transfer the baby unless we apply the indicated protocol, which plans not to treat any further the baby and withdraw life-support. We have obviously answered no. “ Enoc has confirmed that doctors who follow the rare diseases ward at the Child Jesus Hospital are working with other international experts - including US colleagues - to develop a protocol for experimental treatment for little Charlie. Yesterday morning the little boy’s mom spoke with the Roman hospital specialists after contacting the day before the president of the hospital.

The Holy See’s attempt to help Charlie began on Monday, the day after Pope Francis’ call to accompany Charlie until the end of his days. While Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who deals with these issues, said: “Pulling the plug on sick person is something that makes me sick,” and “it is horrible that courts decide on the life of a person”.

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 13:00
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