Pope Francis offered condolences to the parents of Indi Gregory and to the mourners at the funeral of "this precious child of God."
The 8-month-old baby girl, who suffered from a rare mitochondrial disease, died Nov. 13 after courts denied repeated attempts by her parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, to stop the withdrawal of life support from her and to allow her to go to the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù hospital in Rome for care.
Her funeral was celebrated Dec. 1 in St. Barnabas Cathedral in Nottingham, England.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, conveyed Pope Francis' condolences to the family and other mourners in a message to Bishop Patrick J. McKinney of Nottingham.
"His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the death of little Indi Gregory," the message said, "and he sends condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness to her parents, Dean and Claire, and to all who mourn the loss of this precious child of God."
"Entrusting Indi into the tender and loving hands of our heavenly Father, His Holiness joins those gathered for her funeral in thanking almighty God for the gift of her all-too-short life," the cardinal wrote.
"He likewise prays that the Lord Jesus, who said to his disciples, 'Let the little children come to me … for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs' will grant abiding comfort, strength and peace to you all."