Pope Francis today rallied pro-lifers gathered in Ottawa, assuring them of his prayers that the national march would “foster greater respect for the inviolable right to life of each person from conception to natural death.”
The message, sent by the Pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, echoed similar messages sent by the Holy Father to pro-life marches in Washington, D.C., and in Rome.
The note was sent to Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of the Church in Canada.
Cardinal Lacroix read the message to the thousands of people rallying today in front of Parliament Hill. He was among a number of Catholic bishops participating in the National March for Life, including His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, and the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Archbishop of Ottawa.
The President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau, presided at a special Mass in his diocesan Cathedral. In addition, Bishops across Canada participated in a number of regional and provincial manifestations to support and protect the dignity of human life.
Here is the full text of the papal message:
His Holiness Pope Francis is pleased to greet everyone taking part in the seventeenth National March for Life in Ottawa, and he assures them of his spiritual closeness as they give witness to the God-given dignity, beauty and value of human life. He prays that this event foster greater respect for the inviolable right to life of each person from conception to natural death and support the efforts of all who labour to ensure that this fundamental human right receives adequate legal protection. To the organizers and participants, and in particular to those who aid women in crisis pregnancies and their children, the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the risen Lord.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State