The Syria conflict and Alfie Evans case reveal some surprising things about the Church
May 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. airstrike in Syria and the Alfie Evans case showed prominent critics of Pope Francis defying the stereotypes that they are always aligned with “right-wing” politics or always in disagreement with the pope.
In early April, a coalition of Catholics who would typically be labeled “conservative” or “traditionalist” formed to oppose Trump’s announcement that he would use military force against Syria. They wrote an anti-war plea asking world leaders to “do everything in their power to stop this cycle of civil and imperial wars” and therefore not exacerbate Middle East conflicts, which they said an air strike on Syria would do.
“We, the undersigned, hereby make public our resistance against President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will, within the next hours or days, retaliate militarily against the sovereign state of Syria, with the argument that the Syrian government is guilty of the use of chemical weapons against civilians in the Ghouta region on 8 April,” their petition read.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Dr. Josef Seifert, Dr. Claudio Pierantoni, OnePeterFive’s Steve Skojec, Matt Gaspers of Catholic Family News, and LifeSiteNews co-founder John-Henry Westen – all of whom have raised concerns with the current papacy and Amoris Laetitia – signed that early April statement. These are people who are often characterized as “far-right” or aligned with American conservatism and its foreign policy hawkishness.
Meanwhile, as Alder Hey Children’s Hospital fought to end Alfie Evans’ life, Pope Francis and some of his critics agreed that the little toddler should be allowed to live and be treated in Italy.
Pope Francis readied a military plane to bring the sick boy to Italy, where the Bambino Gesu hospital was prepared to care for him. The pontiff met with Alfie’s father Tom Evans; he tweeted in support of Alfie, just like he did when little Charlie Gard was facing similar state-sanctioned death by hospital.
The same Catholics who want Pope Francis to answer the dubia and stop bringing pro-abortion speakers to the Vatican – for example, the newly-established John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family – agreed with the pope that Alfie should be given a chance.
God bless Pope Francis! He may think that abortion and immigration are of equal moral importance, that Catholic teaching on marriage and the Eucharist can be changed, and that liturgical innovations are perfectly alright. Some of his statements and actions are more than just a little troubling.
But when it comes to ripping a little boy away from his loving parents and delivering him into the hands of power-tripping statists, Pope Francis is 100 percent solid. His instincts seem completely Catholic on this one.
But some who are seen as the biggest supporters of the Francis pontificate, like the UK bishops (some of whom have a reputation for spinelessness and leftism) and Austen Ivereigh, seemed to disagree with Pope Francis on this issue. The Archbishop of Liverpool even flew to Rome to urge Pope Francis to support the hospital over Alfie’s parents.
(The priest providing spiritual support to the Evans family wasn’t even British; he was Italian. One wonders what the parish priests in the Liverpool area are up to.)
Boston College Professor Jesuit “Father [John] Paris believes that, as in the Charlie Gard case which generated similar controversy and a previous intervention by Francis, the pope’s pastoral intentions in his outreach to the Evans family have been interpreted incorrectly as a signal that therapeutic treatment could be available to Alfie,” America magazine reported.
The Jesuit publication then went on to quote Paris and another priest as supporting the Alder Hey staff for acting “in the best interest of their patient” (by trying to end his life). They are “being unjustly pilloried for it.”
That article also ironically declared “U.S. and U.K. law have established that parental rights over children are not absolute; children are not chattel.”
It would seem that the bigger problem in the Western world is governments being given “absolute” power over children and therefore treating them like “chattel.”
Curious: Pope voices support for Alfie, but his most vociferous supporters are busy criticizing those who defend the child. Kinda undermining their own calls for unquestioning adherence to papal statements.— Philip Lawler (@PhilLawler) April 26, 2018
When UK Catholics back the verdict vs. #AlfieEvans, I see a phenom I saw while I was there: idolatry of @NHSEngland, as though the state's right to define healthcare & human dignity trumped the Church's. They ignore Dignitatis humanae & Familiaris consortio. @catholicEW @austeni pic.twitter.com/QwfQeUHSf3— Dawn Eden Goldstein (@DawnofMercy) April 26, 2018
I guess that seamless garment isn't big enough to cover Alfie Evans.#alfieevans— Creative Minority (@CMReport) April 26, 2018
This is so disgusting it dares God's vengeance. This is the sickness, the rot, pervasive in the hierarchy of the Church. God save us from these demons. https://t.co/8kteN4Ka81— Creative Minority (@CMReport) April 25, 2018
Such heroism is frequently seen in the clergy. The problem for Alfie Evans was he was not a murderous sociopath awaiting execution for a host of crimes against the innocent and thus deserving of a super abundance of mercy and solicitude to preserve his vile existence endlessly https://t.co/XOE2sLswOa— Andrew E. Malone (@dukenaltum) May 1, 2018
There was no “mercy” for little Alfie, only for the cruel hospital bureaucrats who wanted him dead.