VATICAN CITY, FEB. 1, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address John Paul II delivered today to thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray the Angelus.
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1. “Without Children There is No Future.” This is the theme of Pro-Life Day, which is being observed today in Italy. In their message, the Italian bishops shed light on the many causes of the present crises of births, stressing that the cultural and social context very often does not favor the family and the mission of parents.
Moreover, not a few spouses would like to have more children, but are almost constrained not to do so because of financial difficulties. The assistance of public institutions, though appreciable, is often insufficient. There is a need for a more organic policy in favor of the family.
2. The family nucleus, which ensues from marriage, is the fundamental cell of society. Within it, as in a reassuring nest, life must always be promoted, defended and protected, and today’s Pro-Life Day reminds all of this fundamental duty.
Dear brothers and sisters, we must not be resigned to the attacks on human life, above all, abortion! I renew my appreciation for the courageous support that the Pro-Life Movement in Italy offers this cause, and I exhort every ecclesial community to support its initiatives and services. Efforts are being multiplied, so that the right to life of yet unborn children is affirmed not against the mothers, but together with the mothers.
3. We now turn to Mary Most Holy and invoke her in a special way for families so that, trusting in divine help, they will be committed to carry out with joy and dedication their wonderful mission to give humanity a future rich in hope.
[Translation by ZENIT]