Bishops’ Conference statement on Charlie Gard

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A spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales:

“Following today’s decision by the parents of Charlie Gard, the Bishops of England and Wales express their deepest sympathy and compassion for them and for their son.

“It is some weeks now since Pope Francis said that he was following ‘with affection and emotion the case of little Charlie Gard and expresses his own closeness to his parents. For them he prays, hoping that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end is not ignored.’

“Indeed 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.

“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.

“At this moment it is important to remember that all involved in these agonising decisions have sought to act with integrity and for Charlie’s good as they see it.

“The professionalism, love and care for severely ill children consistently shown at the Great Ormond Street Hospital is also to be recognised and applauded.”