Pro-Lifers from all over France and from many European countries responded in large numbers to the call of the March for Life coalition in France, on Sunday last, January 19.
It has been estimated that this year’s attendance was in the region of 40,000 making it the largest pro-life demonstration in the history of the event although as usual police estimates minimized the attendance with their estimate of 16,000.
The pro-life presence included personalities and deputations from many European countries including Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, Germany, together with a very large contingent from Spain. The Spanish delegation included deputies, senators and representatives of the larger family associations and pro-life organizations such as ‘Respect for Life’.
There were calls during the march for the immediate withdrawal of disputed amendments dealing with abortion, which had been secretly added to the draft law on equality between women and men and were due to be discussed in Parliament this week.
The attendance included several bishops Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyons, who told the crowd because of abortion ‘200 000 small lives are abolished every year, I think that it is the biggest suffering of our country’.
A message from Pope Francis delivered via the Papal Nuncio Msgr. Luigi Ventura was also read out to the meeting.
"Pope Francis, who has been notified of your initiative to promote respect for human life, welcomes the participants in the march, and invites you to keep alive your attention for this important subject, and reminds you again of the exhortation addressed in the homily for the day of Evangelium Vitae in Rome on June 16, 2013:"Dear brothers and sisters, look at God as the God of life, look at His law, the message of the Gospel as a way of freedom and life. The living God makes us free! Say yes to love and not selfishness, say yes to life and not death (...) in a word, say yes to God who is love, life and freedom. "The Holy Father sends you the assurance of his spiritual closeness and prayers and willingly grants you his apostolic blessing. "