Alfie Evans Granted Italian Citizenship, Pope Francis Renews Appeal

Vatican official calls for “shared response” to apparent “dead-end” in Alfie Evans’ case

BREAKING: Alfie Evans removed from ventilation

Protesters have clashed with police outside the Alder Hey hospital where terminally-ill baby Alfie Evans is now being treated.

Pope Francis on Monday evening tweeted his support for Alfie Evans, saying, "I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted".

The Holy Father, who met the father of Alfie last week in Rome, said he was "moved by the prayers and enormous solidarity" shown for the toddler who is at the center of court battles between hospital authorities and parents to keep him alive.

Alfie's parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, both in their 20s, want to take the 23-month-old from Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool to Rome's Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital, which has links to the Vatican.

Barrister Paul Diamond, who represents the couple, told the judge that Alfie had been granted Italian citizenship on Monday.

"He said that Alfie's always been a United Kingdom citizen; he's always resided in the United Kingdom, and so he doesn't see a need to extend the matter for a further hearing to hear the Italians out", the source continued.

Some briefly blocked a road, chanting "Save Alfie Evans!"

"In this way the Italian government hopes that being an Italian citizen will enable the immediate transfer of the child to Italy".

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During the pope's general audience, which took place immediately after his meeting with Evans, Francis asked for prayers for Alfie, and said it is "our duty to do everything to preserve life". "We await for the [Italian] foreign minister to call Boris Johnson".

Alfie was hospitalised in 2016, after he suffered from chronic seizures. "I love Alfie and I love Kate, I will not give up".

During a conference call earlier this evening a United Kingdom judge would not change a previous court decision that the hospital could remove the baby's life support under the pretext that it was in Alfie's "best interest".

"Alfie is a British citizen, he is undoubtedly habitually resident in the UK". "Justice Hayden did the second order, and this is his third time giving the order". "He's needing oxygen, but the hospital won't give him any".

Alfie's family is in a legal battle with Alder Hey, a children's hospital that says it is best to withdraw ventilation as his condition can not be treated and has destroyed much of his brain.

A group of angry protesters tried to storm the front entrance of the Liverpool hospital but a row of police officers scrambled to block the doors as tension spilled over. Supreme Court justices and European Court of Human Rights judges refused to intervene.

Mariella Enoc, the president of Bambino Gesù, flew to Liverpool on Monday to see what she could do to facilitate the transfer of Alfie to Rome.

Court of Appeal judges upheld his decisions.

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