April 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A large group of Brazilian bishops and archbishops have made a video and have signed a public declaration in defense of Alfie Evans, a child with a degenerative neurological condition whose life support is scheduled to be forcibly removed by hospital staff on Monday, despite his parents’ desire to move him to another hospital to continue treatment.
The letter, which was issued today, begins with a phrase from the Book of Deuteronomy (30:19), “Choose, therefore, life” followed by an exclamation point.
The bishops say they wish to “manifest our unconditional support for the family of little Alfie Evans.”
Reasserting “what has always been” Catholic doctrine, the bishops declare that “life is sacred and inviolable, such that it may not, on any pretext, be vilified or suppressed.”
“In this way, we reiterate our desire that all care be taken so that little Alfie may have the guarantee of all of his rights and may be aided in all of his necessities,” they add. They ask for the intercessory prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the “mother of the Author of life.”
In the brief video, the bishops have similar words of support for the family, and together say “yes to life!” at the end.
The strong words of support of the Brazilian bishops contrasts sharply with those of the bishops of England and Wales, who have declared their support for the hospital and the British courts that have sought to end ventilation for Alfie.
“We affirm our conviction that all those who are and have been taking the agonizing decisions regarding the care of Alfie Evans act with integrity and for Alfie's good as they see it,” the bishops stated on April 18.
Pope Francis, however, has expressed his support for Alfie’s parents, Thomas and Kate Evans, and has offered to care for Alfie in Bambino Gesù hospital in Rome.
“We do not understand why our child amongst many more is being treated like this,” Evans told the Pope. “We believe it is because he is disabled and the U.K. wants to legalize euthanasia.”
However, the hospital and the UK’s Supreme Court have refused to allow Alfie to be transferred. In a ruling today the Supreme Court refused an appeal by Alfie’s parents, who say they will appeal again to the European Court of Human Rights.
If the Evans lose their appeal, Alfie is likely to die on Monday, April 23, when the hospital is scheduled to remove his ventilator. It is believed that he will not be able to breathe on his own.