Hospital Reportedly Blocks Pastor From Praying Over Charlie Gard

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter
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The Great Ormond Street Hospital reportedly blocked a U.S. pastor from praying over Charlie Gard Sunday, sparking further outrage over the hospital’s handling of Gard’s case.

Reverend Patrick Mahoney was initially barred from entering Gard’s room despite coming on invitation from Gard’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, according to Daily Mail.

The hospital cited concern over “security reasons” as justification for its decision, but later allowed Mahoney entry after public outrage erupted over the issue.

“It is an outrage that Great Ormond Street Hospital has denied a pastor from praying for Charlie Gard and offering spiritual help to his family,” Mahoney said. “I was invited by Charlie’s parents Connie and Chris to come from America to pray for Charlie, and it is stunning that I was denied from doing this.”

Yates told Daily Mail she was “heartbroken” over the hospital’s initial decision to keep Mahoney out of her child’s room. Mahoney later joined Yates and Gard for public prayer and addressed a crowd of supporters and the press outside the hospital.

Mahoney has a history of contention — he was arrested in 2000 in front of the Supreme Court during a protest against abortion, and arrested twice in 2008 in China for leading demonstrations for religious liberty in Tiananmen  Square. Mahoney said his visit to pray over Gard was a “faith journey” to fight for the child’s life, and has described himself as an “outspoken prophetic voice for ending the violence of abortion” and a “Christian social, political and human-rights activist.”

Mahoney joins a host of other who have taken up the battle cry for Gard’s right to receive a treatment called nucleoside bypass therapy. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis both offered to provide treatment for Gard in the U.S. and Francis’ children’s hospital respectively. The pro-life organization March for Life along with a coalition of other pro-life organizations presented a petition to the hospital July 7, which urged the hospital to allow Gard’s parents to take him elsewhere for treatment instead of forcing them to shut off Gard’s life support.

The U.K. High Court agreed to give Gard’s case a new trial in light of new evidence concerning nucleoside bypass therapy presented by two international hospitals.

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