Pope Francis Appears to Slap Down Vatican Academy In Tweet

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Jun 30, 2017 3:00 PM
Pope Francis Appears to Slap Down Vatican Academy In Tweet

On Friday, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life issued a rather curious statement on the sad case of British baby Charlie Gard. Gard has effectively been sentenced to die by a European "human rights" court, who decided that moving him to the United States for treatment (on his parents' dime) would be inhumane and only further increase his suffering.

The Pontifical Academy for Life's statement was, in a word, "cowardly." The Academy inexplicably seemed to side with the court ordering Gard's life support to be withdrawn, stating that while this was a very "complex" situation, "[...] we must also accept the limits of medicine and, as stated in paragraph 65 of the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, avoid aggressive medical procedures that are disproportionate to any expected results or excessively burdensome to the patient or the family."

Many people were justifiably disturbed by the Academy's statement, including, apparently, Pope Francis himself. Several hours after the statement was issued, Pope Francis tweeted from his official account that it is a "duty of love that God entrusts to all" to defend human life. This would appear to be a "subtweet" at the Academy's statement.

Also of note--Pope Francis only tweeted this from his English  and Italian language @Pontifex accounts, and not on the German, Spanish, French, or Italian accounts. [Editors' note: Pope Francis did in fact tweet this from his Italian account, but not French, Spanish, or German.]

While it's good to see the Vatican dial back that horrendous rhetoric (especially from, quite literally, the top), why was that statement even released in the first place?