Virginia Coda Nunziante, the spokeswoman and organiser of the demonstration, speaks to us about this great event – which by now has reached its fifth edition – which brings together in the heart of Rome the Italian pro-life world in order to say ‘yes’ to life, from conception until natural death.
The attacks on innocent human life are increasingly numerous, in Italy as well, where for over thirty years a law of the State has allowed resort to abortion. The ‘March for Life’ is a sign of the existence of a people that does not surrender and wants the rights of those who do not have a voice to prevail over the logic of utilitarianism and individualism carried to the extremes.
‘As happens in so many capital cities of the world, from Washington to Madrid, and from Brussels to Paris, we are marching in the centre of Christendom and in the heart of the national institutions of our country with the aim of saying ‘yes’ to life without compromises, from conception until natural death’. With these words, Virginia Coda Nunziante, the spokeswoman of the ‘March for Life’, presented the initiative which will take place on 10 May next in Rome, a demonstration that was inaugurated in the year 20’1 and is now at its fifth edition. We asked her some questions about the meaning of this ‘march’.
What does ‘saying yes to life without compromises mean’?
‘It means that we are not ready, as apostles of life, both secular people and believers, to say yes to laws that violate the sacredness of human life. One of these laws is law number 194 of the year 1978 which has helped to assure the killing of six million human lives since its application. We seek to spread knowledge and truth about this fact above all else, which is denied by that culture which is so widespread and which – as St. John Paul II observed – seeks to transform a crime into a right’.
We have reached the fifth edition of this initiative: what have you obtained hitherto?
‘Our greatest success has been to bring together over recent years, in the streets of Rome, tens of thousands of people: women, men and entire families with their children who march festively and joyously under the banners of life. Never in the history of our country has such great pro-life participation been achieved, and this bears witness to the fact that in Italy it is possible to emulate the great popular marches that are held in the world. Politics, the national institutions and civil society cannot but take into account the fact that this people wants to make its voice heard and to point out that there is a feasible alternative to the massacre of human life’.
At the last edition of the march, there were very many non-Italians. Why was this?
‘To affirm the culture of life has become a global necessity. We live in a continent, that of Europe, in which children are no longer born and where according to the statistics one abortion takes place every twenty-five seconds. Societies do not die because of economic crises but because of the disappearance of the principles on which they were built. We are going through this stage of history and it is for this reason that we have to spread awareness of this in the largest possible number of countries’.
Does Pope Francis appreciate your commitment?
‘Over the last two years the Pope has addressed warm messages to the march. On a number of times he has spoken on the subject of abortion. For example on 15 November last year when speaking to Catholic medical doctors he said: ‘Faithfulness to the Gospel of life and respect for life as a gift from God sometimes require brave choices that go against the current, which in particular circumstances may become points of conscientious objection’. Abortion is not a religious problem or a philosophical problem, it is ‘a scientific problem, because there is a human life there and it is not licit to eliminate a human life to resolve a problem…. in the old and the modern schools of thought, the word kill means the same thing!’. The same applies to euthanasia: ‘we all know’, observed the Pope, ‘that with so many elderly people in this throw-away culture, euthanasia is being performed in secret… And this is saying to God: “No, I will end life, as I see fit”. Pope Francis ended his address by quoting St. Camillus de Lellis who in suggesting the most effective method by which to care for the sick said simply: ‘Put more heart into those hands’. This statement by St. Camillus was an invitation addressed to those who take of the sick but it can also be legitimately extended to everyone to respect the sacredness of human life’.
President of the MEVD, the European Movement for the Defence of Life and Human Dignity