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

    Chris Gard and Connie Yates announced in London’s High Court on 24 July that they had ended their legal struggle to take their baby overseas for treatment after a U.S. 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 4 August.

    Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said in a 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 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.

    “Their farewell to their tiny and precious baby touches the hearts of all who, like Pope Francis, have followed this sad and complex story. Charlie’s life will be lovingly cherished until its natural end,” the statement continued.

    Charlie’s parents, who live in London, had fought for eight months for medical help that might have saved the life of their son.

    They raised £1.3 million to take him abroad for treatment, but the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London had argued that Charlie was beyond help and that it was not in his best interests to be kept alive, triggering a protracted legal battle with the parents that led to interventions from U.S. President Donald Trump and from the pope.

    Source: Catholic Herald