A letter/appeal to be signed: "The presence of Don Gabriele near Alfie comforts us. We need priests who, aware of their paternity and vocation, do not abandon us before evil and in the hour of death. We ask to ring the church bells for the baby during his funeral, certain that there are still many priests capable of shouting to the world the scandal of love".
In the story of Alfie Evans, we are struck by the presence of an Italian priest, Fr Gabriele Brusco. In line with his priestly vocation, Fr Brusco, freely and on his own initiative went to the hospital and witnessed to the family the love of God and the Christian message.
In the second letter to Timothy, St Paul speaks of the salvation brought by "Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher." (2 Timothy 1, 10-11). Don Gabriele knew how to be present in the family’s drama and in their anguish for a son condemned to death by doctors and judges, against the wishes of his parents. He brought Christ; he insisted "on every favorable and unfavorable occasion" (2 Timothy 4, 1-2), and he tried to convince the doctors and nurses to not perform the inhuman act of removing hydration and oxygen from a seriously ill child who was not dying. He followed St. Paul: “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 4,5).
A priest brought the Gospel of life and immortality to the Evans’ family, emphasizing the sacredness of life and of the family; he supported the fundamental and irreplaceable role of parents in defending their children's good. It is painful to still hear some experts, even Catholic ones talking of "therapeutic obstinacy" when it is clear to any man who really has the intelligence and the heart to participate in this drama, putting himself at stake and perhaps empathising with Thomas and Kate, that nourishing, hydrating and loving a child as long as he lives and asks for it, is the essence of true and gratuitous love.
Don Gabriele was able to support him and be a father; despite the State’s cruelty and not only that of the State, he demonstrated a profoundly human fatherhood and at the same time a sign of God's fatherhood. He embraced Alfie, watched him, blessed him and we will always be grateful to him. Every authentic relationship is a promise of eternity and Alfie received this promise through Father Gabriele as well.
In a world where more and more often alliances or collusions are sought with those who proclaim and promote principles contrary to the good of man, the figure of a simple priest who is not ashamed to proclaim Christ, even if it means breaking with Power and paying the price for this is a great testimony to all of us. We are sure that the fruits of what he has sown will be more numerous than those that we are now seeing, although some are already visible.
We need priests who fight the good fight of life with calm courage. We would like priests who, conscious of their fatherhood and their vocation, do not abandon us before power and evil, or before the drama of life and the hour of death. We need priests who are the incarnation of what the Church still has at heart: Life and the proclamation of the Gospel that tells of the stone rejected by the builders that become a corner head. We need Priests who do not flee from the scandal and the apparent failure of the Cross, but who have the strength to be under the Cross. May priests be able to make us feel, through their presence, the love of God and the profound goodness that every human life offers to the world.
"May the angels accompany you into Heaven,
may the martyrs welcome you when you arrive,
and lead you to Holy Jerusalem".
Little Alfie, our son, we would love to recite this prayer all together during your funeral and make it rise up to Heaven. We would love this to be accompanied by the sound of the bells rang by priests in every parish, as the voice of the Church that announces death but above all the Resurrection and reminds us to look up under the Cross at the Face of God. We are asking this, we are asking that church bells be rung as a sign of faith as we are sure that there are still many priests capable of proclaiming to the world the scandal of God’s Love (you can sign the appeal by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Monika Grygiel, Aurora Bastianelli, Paolo Corbò, Arianna Morroni, Valentina Diodati e Massimiliano Segoloni, Suor Alexandra Diriart, Don Przemyslaw Kwiatkowski (Polonia), Oana Maria Gotia, Stanislaw Grygiel e Ludmila Grygiel, David Cantagalli, Edoardo Fumagalli, Maria Cavagno, Settimio Carmignani Caridi, Francesco Usai, Sandra Ioannucci, Lorenzo e Marisa Orecchia, Fabiana Serra, Trieste, Monica Boccardi (Rimini), Paola Melina, Furio Pesci e Francesca Romano Gerardo Ferrara (Roma), Gloriana Lipia di Fidenza, Ubaldo Zocchi, Angelo Bonera, Chiara Febretti, Laura Tiberi, Marco Ferrini - Presidente Centro Internazionale Giovanni Paolo II, Dr.ssa Elzbieta Morawiec (Cracovia, Polonia), Fausta Armandi Vitalone, Rita Wietrzykowska-Sforza, Lorenzo Brigato, Alessandra Fiore, Roberto Quaresima, Ester Garasto, Martina Garasto, Maria Ester Bezzi, Carlo Fiore, Ruben Ghezzo, (Venezia), Ilaria Maccagnoni da Bolzano, Paola Tenca (Milano), Costanza Miriano, Annamaria Di Filippo, Claudio Stefanini, Chrisula Liakos, Benedetta Longari, Salvatore Musco, Patrizia Sitta, Paolo Grassi, Ornella Pisacreta, Francesca Mandelli, Roberta Roncolato, Emilio Lepore , Raffaella Tedesco e famiglia, Enrico Senes e Maria Teresa Gennari Curlo (con le figlie Matilde Maria, Allegra Maria, Otilia Maria e Caterina Maria), Antonio Pompili, Antonella Vian, Raffaele Chiarulli, Irene e Andrea Villa (Pistoia), mons. Willy Volonté (Lugano), Maria Grazia Negro, Giuliana Ruggieri (Siena), Miranda Lucchini, Patrizia Elena Maria Creati, Nicola Marcone, Carmine Salzano (Salerno), Daniele Salanitro con Letizia Quartararo (ed i figli Giacomo, Maria, Pietro, Paola, Giovanni Francesco, Benedetto Luigi, Giuseppe), Margherita Zucchiatti, MIchele e Silvia D'Amico, Paola Faccin, Oreste Tamponi, Domnica Gotia (Romania), Klaus Haim, Angela Magazù, Famiglia Roverselli (Milano), Claudia Castellani (Roma), Maurizio Castellani (Roma), Rita Ciarico (Roma), Rosario Pignalosa e Danila Pompilio, Mariapaola Perucchetti, Sara Pezzuolo, Margherita Nobile (Milano), Emilia Scardino, Fam. Pedretti Paolo e Patuzzi Francesca, Attilio Centurion (Verona), Verdiana Lecca, Giorgio Fiore, Francesca Grioli, Marco Dipilato (Milano), Fausto Gallo e Nilza Adalberta Fagundes (Trieste), Ivana Quadrelli, Urs Meier e famiglia (Svizzera), Maricetta De Marco (Roma), Paola Fumagalli (Busto Arsizio), Veronica Zanon, Massimo Cucciolotti, Beatrice Lo Giudice (Milano), Flavia Muri, Tania Mezzanotti (Roma), Rossella e Alfredo Amorini (Vignola), Loretta Ruggieri, Lucia Comelli, Udine, Romana Wysoczanska, Lublino (Polonia), Barbara Montsita Viscovi Famiglia Brunella e Vittorio Berardo, Busca Nelia Comuzzi (Udine), Rita Madonna (Caserta), Stefania Dall’Oglio (Roma), Roberta Zanetti, Luigi Palmieri, Giovanni Camponeschi, Manuela Passeri, Ivana Lando, Rosario Giuffré, Biancamaria Risi, Consuelo Nespoli, Circolo PDF di Seriate, Fabrizia Merengoni, Maurizio Merlotti, Antonio Ciacciarelli, Circolo PDF di Bergamo, Giovanni Petrella, Ottavio Cesarini, Angelo Fornari, Ernesto Fantoni, Leila Bernazzoli, Katarzyna Kukolowicz, Lublino (Polonia)
Elisabetta Sparaco, Federica Picasso, Suor Maria Michela Rosmini, Maria Patrizia Selvaggi, Don Massimo Lapponi, Maria Stella Lopinto, Paolo Cii, Monica Barigazzi (Milano)Francesco Bisco, Daniele Limoncini, Roberta Bernini, Stefano Terraneo, Maria Rita Marinetti, Guglielmo Cocco - vice Presidente Medici Cattolici Udine, Leon Battista Borzone, Valentina Diodati, Mario e Teodora Cagnola, Federica Berardo, Chiara Favi, Ida Conti, Edoardo Martinelli, Cristina Calvario, Famiglia Massimo Sansovito, Sofia Sarti, Salvatore Leone, Chrisula Liakos (Roma), Annamaria di Filippo e Claudio Stefanini, Benedetta Longari, Antonio Ciniglio, Teresa Barbujani, Licia Melina, Maria Anguissola d'Altoé, Alessandro Berto ed Antonella Grinzato, Graziella Raneri Ricci (Germania), Ornella Pisacreta, Mara Festa, Rita Calabro, Federico de Pasquale e Benedetta Frigerio, Riccardo Cascioli e Patricia Gooding Williams, Paola Ganz (Venezia), Pietro Muschio (Brescia), Vanna Pellegrini (Montepulciano), Giulia Bianchini (Roma), Adele Farkas (Catania), Lucia Comelli (Udine), Elisabetta Frezza, Nathalie Payre (Milano), Aneta Mlynarczyk, padre Fabiano Montanaro (eremita a Castiglion del Lago), suor Luisa de Vivo (eremita a Castiglion del Lago), Natalia Taran, Aristide Benedetti (Perugia), Federico Pieroni, Antonia Angela Deriu, Eva Montanari e Pasquino Ricci (Arezzo), Maria Amalia Gallotta e famiglia, don Diego Maria Pancaldo (Pistoia), Maria Luisa Di Pietro, Missionarie di San Carlo Borromeo, don Pawel Galuszka (Polonia), Miriam Rugo, Maria Grazia Rocchi, Achille Cilea, Beverini Luisa, Laura Checcacci, Ivo Gabrielli, Lello Vaccaro, Francesco Facchielli, Paola Ciaccio, Francesca Federici, Anna Maria Silvestri, Piergiorgio Bighin, Stefania Cavallin, Mariarosa Maurizio, Patrizia Aveta, Giovanna Cupani, Paolo Valiera, Eleonora Stefanyan, Serena Guerri e Massimo Mugnai, Maria Rosa Braschi, padre John Paul Migwi, Ileana Bertolini con la mamma, Ornella Zampieri (Padova), Ornella Migliaccio (Napoli), Andrea Salera, Giuseppina Ricci.