First March for Life in Rome draws 15,000 participants from around the world

By Dave Andrusko

Were you to believe the Associated Press, a couple of thousand people,  mostly nuns and priests, gathered at a landmark near the Vatican to voice their opposition to “Italy’s 1978 law allowing abortion.” In fact, the gathering for Rome’s first March for Life Sunday drew a crowd 15,000 and exceeded all expectations.

The National Catholic Register reports that the attendees were “made up of laity, clergy and religious from all over the world, representatives of other religions, Italian politicians and Church officials.”  And “Fittingly, the event fell on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, as well as Mother’s Day in many countries,” reported Edward Pentin.

The march was only the second to take place in Italy (the first was 2011 in the northern Italian town of Desenzano) but included more than 150 Italian pro-life associations.

“The specified aims of the Rome march were to affirm that ‘life is an indispensable gift from God’; to ask for ‘his help for a lost society’; to ‘deplore Abortion Law 194’; to ‘reiterate the distinction between good and evil, between true and false, between right and wrong’; and to ‘mobilize Catholics and all people of good will,’” Pentin explained.

Virginia Coda Nunziante, who led the event, said the 2012 March for Life in Washington, D.C. inspired her to bring the march to Italy. “Year after year we said: ‘Why don’t we do something like that in Italy?’” she told the Register. “In the U.S. the pro-life movement really is achieving its goals, it is influencing the presidential elections, and the issue of abortion is really important — they’ve achieved extraordinary success in 30 years.”

And like their American counterparts, many, if not most, of the attendees in Rome were young people.  “They understand the bankruptcy of a culture and society which is anti-life and anti-family,” said Cardinal Raymond Burke, “and so they’re here to manifest to others their commitment for life and for the family.”

Cardinal Burke told the Register that in view of Rome being a global capital, the march had “great significance for the whole world” and was a “fundamental witness to the inviolable dignity of human life and the responsibility all of us have to restore the respect for the dignity of human life in society.”

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