-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Pope Expresses Support for
Movement for Life Mobilizes Signature Petition to Recognize Life from the Moment of Conception
By Junno De Jesus Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY, February 05, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Immediately following the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his support for the Movement for Life (MPV) and congratulated them on their success in obtaining signatures from all over Europe in support of recognizing life from the moment of conception.
"On the first Sunday of February the "Day for Life" is observed. I join with the Italian bishops, who in their message invite us to invest in life and the family, and to do so also as an effective response to the current crisis," the Holy Father said.
"I greet the Movement for Life," he added, "and pray for the success of the "One of Us" project so that Europe will always be a place where the dignity of every human being is protected."
According to the petition website, The "One of Us" campaign is a European citizen's initiative that is seeking "juridical protection of the dignity, the right to life and of the integrity of every human being from conception in the areas of EU competence in which such protection is of particular importance."
The Holy Father then greeted "the representatives of the department of medicine and surgery of the University of Rome, especially the professors of obstetrics and gynecology, accompanied by the cardinal vicar, "while encouraging them to "train health care workers in the culture of life."
Mobilizing the Faithful
Earlier that Sunday, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, celebrated mass in the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, located on via della Conciliazione, near St. Peter's Basilica. During his homily, Cardinal Vallini made it known that he will mobilize all parishes in the diocese of Rome to collect signatures in order to remake Europe as a "continent of life."
The Movement for Life, which is spearheading the campaign, has found much support from the Church in Europe. In a recent statement, the president of the MPV, Carlo Casini expressed his gratitude to Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the Archbishop of Genoa and President of the Italian Episcopal Conference for his support of the "One of Us" campaign.
Cardinal Bagnasco backed the initiative during the opening session of the Permanent Council of the Italian Episcopal Conference. "There is no reason to follow Europe if it deviates from basic human values and the defense of life," Cardinal Bagnasco said.
The president of the Italian Episcopal Conference also stated that "there is no doubt of the importance of the 'One of Us' campaign, which wants to bring the issue of life into the political forum without conditions."
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