Holy See 'tried to give Charlie Vatican citizenship'

ROME – The Holy See tried to give Charlie Gard, the desperately ill 10-month-old the Vatican citizenship, an attempt that turned out to be in vain. Charlie could be transferred to the Bambino Gesù Hospital on the condition that the Supreme Court ruling were applied, meaning life support switched off, a possibility that Mariella Enoc, the Bambino Gesù Hospital’s president “cannot consider”.

 Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said on Tuesday: "We will do our best to overcome legal problems" that prevent the transfer of Charlie Gard from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to Rome.

 The legal problems "are related to nationality, the parents cannot bring the child out of the territory without the permission of the authorities."

 The Vatican evaluated on Tuesday the possibility of making Charlie Gard a citizen of the ‘Pope state’, which at first seemed to be an efficient way to take him to the Roman hospital.

 British government officials had not been consulted by the Holy See’s diplomacy, who dealt with Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, the apostolic nuncio; Permanent Ambassador of The Holy See to Great Britain. The Vatican’s authorities also stayed in contact with Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates during the process.

 Yet, the Vatican’s attempt soon turned out to be unsuccessful: the green light for the child to be transferred is conditioned to the will of the Bambino Gesù Hospital to follow the Supreme Court ruling.

 Both the Farnesina and the Bambino Gesù Hospital have been given the same answer: the baby cannot be transferred unless the protocol planning not to take any care of the new-born and to disconnect the life support is applied.

 “Obviously, we have answered no” explained Enoc. However, she confirmed that the doctors in charge with rare diseases in the Bambino Gesù Hospital are currently working with other international experts, including from the United States, to develop and provide an experimental treatment for Charlie.

 The Pope had first called on July 2 that Charlie should be treated until the end of his days, one day before The Holy See’s commitment for the cause. The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia stated: "Disconnecting a sick person is something that makes me sick," and "it is horrible that courts decide on the life of a person".

 Suffering from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, Charlie has now drawn the attention of many officials, leading the pressure to rise. According to UK media, the US President Donald Trump is reportedly planning “to confront Theresa May over terminally ill baby boy” in a one-to-one meeting with the Prime Minister at the G20 summit, organised on Friday and Saturday in Hamburg.

Charlie Gard
Charlie Gard’s parents