1. Charlie Gard case heads to UK court in light of new evidence.

By Caroline Spiezio, Associated Press, July 10, 2017, 6:29 AM

A British court will assess new evidence Monday in the case of 11-month-old Charlie Gard as his mother pleaded with judges to allow the terminally ill infant to receive experimental treatment.

Great Ormond Street Hospital applied for the court hearing to be held because of “new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition” from researchers at the Vatican’s children’s hospital and another facility outside of Britain.

The application came after both Pope Francis and President Donald Trump brought international attention to the case, with hospitals in Rome and the U.S. offering to provide Charlie the experimental therapy.


2. ‘He deserves a chance’: Charlie Gard’s parents fight to bring son to the U.S. for treatment.

By Kristine Phillips and Lindsey Bever, The Washington Post, July 9, 2017, 3:06 PM

The parents of Charlie Gard, the 11-month-old British infant whose rare genetic condition has captured the world’s attention, said they want to move their son to a hospital in the United States, where he would receive experimental treatment.

The lengthy legal battle seemed to be over when the European Court of Human Rights rejected the parents’ appeal last month. The hospital had intended to remove Charlie off life support on June 30.

But things took a turn last week when the hospital asked England’s High Court to rehear the case after researchers at two other hospitals shared new evidence about the treatment.

It’s unclear from the statement which two hospitals have shared the new evidence, but according to the Catholic News Agency, a team of seven doctors from across the globe alerted the British hospital of new, unpublished data suggesting that the experimental drug that Charlie’s parents are seeking could improve his condition. One of those doctors is a researcher and neurologist from Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome, which has previously offered to treat Charlie.

The High Court will ultimately decide whether the treatment in the United States should be pursued. The hearing is expected Monday, according to the Associated Press.


3. Interested in Catholic reaction to Francis? Get off Twitter and into the trenches.

By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, July 9, 2017

If all you had to go by in judging Catholic reaction to Pope Francis were press treatments and social media, you’d think it’s an all-or-nothing war between devoted supporters and fanatical critics. In the trenches, however, what you find is a spirit of root enthusiasm and loyalty, tempered with a critical edge on specific points depending on what’s most important to a particular person.

Where I’m going is this: We may well have a mismatch between the public debate about Francis and the reality on the ground.

In public, often it appears to be a zero/sum, all-or-nothing war between supporters and opponents. On the ground, it’s more akin to a back-and-forth among basic supporters (of this pope and any pope) who nevertheless realize that even a great leader can have lacunae, and who are smart enough to know that critical loyalty is of more value to the Church, and to the pope himself, than either fawning unctuousness or blind hostility.

Francis is famous for calling the Church to get “out of the sacristy and into the streets.” In a similar vein, I’d say that if you want to know what most Catholics are actually thinking about Francis, get off Twitter and into the trenches.


4. Saving Charlie Gard: Why should technical expertise be elevated over parental love?

By The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2017, Pg. A12, Review & Outlook

Charlie Gard, an 11-month old British child with a rare genetic disease, is today the most famous baby in the world. For all the wrong reasons.

Charlie’s mother says the hospital won’t allow her and her husband to bring their boy home, meaning that if he is to die, it will be with the hospital and not at home with those who love him. Which raises a question: Whose baby is Charlie, anyway—his parents’ or the state’s? In this delicate case, Britain’s national care system has elevated technical expertise over parental love.

Europe is much further along than America in its aggressive secularization and single-payer health-care control. Those values and priorities are on prominent display here, with an infant’s court-ordered guardian invoking “quality of life” as a reason for not allowing his parents to try experimental treatment.

Precedents matter when a society is confronted with these dilemmas. If the courts prevail in Charlie’s case, it isn’t so difficult to imagine another court ruling that a child with severe Down Syndrome or some other genetic disease also doesn’t have the right quality of life. Who decides? Our vote remains with the parents.


5. People want you to believe the Charlie Gard case is ‘complex’. It’s not.

By John Jalsevac, Life Site News, July 7, 2017

There are a number of people who want you to believe that the Charlie Gard case is very “complex,” with all manner of shades of grey. They want you to cool your righteous indignation. And in one sense, they’re right. But we also can’t let them distract us from the fact that Charlie’s case is also, in a much more important way, extremely simple.

Over at Crux, Austen Ivereigh is eager to make the case that withdrawing Charlie’s life support wouldn’t amount to “euthanasia,” as some people have said. Instead, he suggests, it’s a licit case of withdrawing “extraordinary” care from a dying patient, something even all pro-lifers admit can be moral. He might be right. I don’t know. … [T]he only way to make an informed decision about how to apply ethical standards about “extraordinary” vs. “ordinary” care is to have a firm grasp of those medical facts (not to mention the thorny bioethics).

I don’t have a firm grasp of those. Neither do you. I rather doubt whether Ivereigh does.

[B]y ignoring the question of parental rights, Ivereigh …ignores the elephant in the living room. Ivereigh thinks it could be moral (even good) to withdraw Charlie’s life support. Fine. Maybe (maybe) if the parents had chosen to do that, it would be ok. But they didn’t. The hospital did. And then they told the parents to buzz off. That’s wrong. Plain and simple.

Parental rights are the lynch-pin in this case, and to bracket them out of the discussion is to fight with both hands tied behind our backs.

The hospital and the doctors simply don’t have a leg to stand on. That they may be motivated by compassion for Charlie doesn’t make them right, or justify our losing sight of the grave stakes at play. Don’t get distracted by irrelevancies. When it comes to who’s right or who’s wrong in the Charlie Gard case, it’s extremely simple.


6. The Good Soldier. 

By Marco Tosatti, First Things, July 7, 2017

Pope Francis declined to renew the appointment of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Gerhard Cardinal Müller, on the very day—July 2, 2017—on which his five-year term came to an end. It is a gesture unprecedented in the Church’s recent history.

It seems clear that the dismissal has not arisen from any substantive reason involving the work of the congregation. No explanation of this kind has been made. The pope’s choice was made freely and executed the hard way, without delicacy. This behavior is not surprising for anybody who knows how Jorge Maria Bergoglio acted while provincial superior of the Jesuit Province of Argentina—he was dismissed from that position for being unduly authoritarian—and as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

To write this article, I peeped into the confidential notes I had made during the last four years regarding the German cardinal and his relations with the reigning pontiff. The notes are the result of many private conversations with high-ranking people in the Vatican who enjoyed the cardinal’s friendship. It appears that Müller experienced life under Bergoglio as a sort of Calvary. This, despite Müller’s statements—he has been a good soldier to the end, and even beyond.

It is important to remember that Bergoglio has long exhibited an animus against Rome, and against the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in particular. He has disliked the Curia because, before he became pope, Rome often refused to appoint the men he designated as possible bishops.

Re-reading the notes I took in those four years, it is evident that Cardinal Müller and those working with him experienced great frustration, because the pope simply took no interest in their work. For the pope, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith simply did not exist. He did not ask for their cooperation; neither did he attempt any dialogue with them.

With Amoris Laetitia, the situation regressed dramatically.

Since the publication of the dubia, Müller has been in a very difficult situation. He has been split between loyalty to the pope, and loyalty to the magisterial teaching of the Church on marriage and the Eucharist. He knew well that the papal faction in the Curia wanted him to emerge as the main adversary of the pope—and he tried not to fall into that trap.

Müller does not wish to be the leader of any anti-Francis movement. He states that he has “always been loyal to the pope” and wishes to remain loyal—“as Catholic, as bishop, and as cardinal, just as it is due.” Coherent to the last.