.- Archbishop Hugo Barrantes of San Jose in Costa Rica exhorted the more than 100,000 Catholics gathered for a pro-life march to care for the family, “the primary and fundamental cell of society” and “the first school of virtues,” against certain anti-family and anti-marriage laws in the country.
On Sunday at the Cathedral of San Jose, where he celebrated a Mass at the conclusion of the pro-family march, the archbishop underscored that “the family is one of the most precious gifts God has given humanity. We are convinced that there is no alternative to the family. The family is the first school of virtues that all societies need.”
In pointing out that there are some “who think they can be happy without God, that they can change and improve the world without God,” Archbishop Barrantes stressed that “without God, the family falls apart and society crumbles.”
The archbishop also touched on marriage, saying that it is not “the tale of Alice in Wonderland. Those who get married should remember that there is no success going downhill, nor true happiness at a cheap price. Spouses should pray frequently before the cross. They should pray for the grace and strength that come from the cross, they should put themselves under the protection of the cross and they should follow Christ on the way of the cross.”
Archbishop Barrantes then turned to the five new bills that threaten the family, which attack the definition of marriage being between one man and one woman, and threaten the freedom of parents to choose the kind of education they want for their children. Catholic legislators must reject these measures, he said.
He urged that discussions about the measures be conducted to ensure that “the voice of Catholics is heard, within the context of the rule of law.”
After encouraging spouses to renew their promises of love and fidelity, Archbishop Barrantes said “the great revolution in favor of the family” should begin with “living matrimonial holiness.”