By Joseph HartroppChristian Today
A controversial American pastor was initially refused permission to pray with Charlie Gard and his parents at Great Ormond Street Hospital, as high-profile publicity continues to surround the case of the terminally ill-baby in London.
Pro-life advocates in the US have voiced their support for the Gard family, while the High Court in London has today said it will hear new evidence in the case.
Rev Patrick Mahoney, 63, is a minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church who visited Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London to pray with the Gard family, but was reportedly blocked from doing so for 'security' reasons, he told the Daily Mail.
Mahoney is an outspoken activist and self-described 'outspoken prophetic voice for ending the violence of abortion'. He has previously been arrested for protesting against abortion. He described his trip to the UK as a 'faith journey', leading a campaign to 'save Charlie's life'. After being denied access to Charlie, he said: 'In 40 years of pastoral ministry, I have never once been denied the right to pray over a patient in a hospital.
'This continues to show Great Ormond Street Hospital's disregard for the wishes of Charlie's parents. First the hospital denies care, and now they deny prayer.'However, Mahoney was later allowed to pray with the family. He said on social media:
'Let's believe for a miracle and that Great Ormond Street hospital would continue do the right thing.'
Charlie's life has hung in the balance since his birth. The 11-month-old suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic illness which leads to progressive brain and muscle damage. He is blind, deaf and unable to move or breathe without a ventilator. GOSH determined that he should be taken off his life support.