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Pope Francis meets with Italy's Pro-Life Movement Pope Francis meets with Italy's Pro-Life Movement  (Vatican Media)

Pope to Pro-Life Movement: ‘Politicians should place defense of life first'

Pope Francis appeals to politicians to defend the lives of unborn babies as the cornerstone of promoting the common good, in remarks to Italy’s Pro-Life Movement on Saturday.

By Devin Watkins

Italy’s Pro-Life Movement is a network that helps women with crisis pregnancy counseling and adoption services.

Pope Francis addressed the Movement’s Board of Directors on Saturday, ahead of the 41st National Day for Life, which is celebrated on 3 February under the theme: “It’s life; it’s the future”.

“Ahead of tomorrow’s Day for Life, I take this opportunity to appeal to all politicians, regardless of their faith convictions, to treat the defense of the lives of those who are about to be born and enter into society as the cornerstone of the common good”.

A newborn child, said the Pope, brings “newness, future, and life” to society.

“Voluntarily extinguishing life in its blossoming is, in every case, a betrayal of our vocation, as well as of the pact that binds generations together, which allows us to look forward with hope,” he said.

Abortion undermines justice

Pope Francis thanked Italy’s Pro-Life Movement for defending the lives of the unborn. He said they bear witness through their work that “those who have been conceived are children of the whole of society”.

“Their killing in huge numbers, with the endorsement of States, is a serious problem that undermines the foundations of the construction of justice, compromising the proper solution of any other human and social issue,” he said.

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Every stage of life

Pope Francis said protecting life is not a one-off action but means protecting every aspect of a person’s life.

“Taking care of life”, he said, “requires that attention be paid to living conditions: health, education, and job opportunities. In short, it includes everything that allows a person to live in dignity.”

The Pope said every person should be involved in defending life at every level of society, carried out “in a multiplicity of actions, attentions, and initiatives”.

Gift from God

Life, said the Holy Father, is a gift from God for which we cannot take sole credit.

“When life itself is violated at its emergence, what remains is no longer the grateful and enchanted welcome of a gift, but a cold calculation of what we have and what we can use. Then even life is reduced to a one-time-use consumer good”.

But, Pope Francis said, Italy’s Pro-Life Movement draws on the Catholic faith and Church teachings to contrast these tendencies. “May the Day for Life bring a breath of fresh air and help all to work generously” to promote life.

“Where there is life, there is hope!” the Pope declared.

02 February 2019, 12:25