Madrid, Spain, Jan 29, 2014 / 15:17 pm
A series of recent pro-life and pro-marriage events show that Europe is reacting against the 'culture of death,' said Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla of Alcala de Henares in Spain.
"Something is changing in Europe," the bishop said in an article published in the Alpha and Omega Catholic weekly.
He pointed to events including the recent March for Life in Paris and defense of marriage demonstrations reportedly drawing more than 1 million participants, as well as the European Court of Justice's ruling banning stem cell patents when human embryos are destroyed.
He also noted the 2012 Council of Europe resolution against euthanasia and the "One of Us" campaign, a European citizens' initiative that gained more than 1.8 million signatures to protect human life from conception.
These victories show that "people are beginning to react against the crushing culture of death," he said.
"It is curious that with serious studies and demonstrations in the streets, secular France is now continuously voicing its desire to defend the dignity of human life and to respect marriage between one man and one woman as a basic institution for the common good," Bishop Reig Pla observed.
"The plural and inter-religious character of those who attend the demonstrations or raise their voices in books and writings" is striking, he added.
The bishop drew encouragement from the various rulings and initiatives, which he described as "an expression of a clear set-back for the culture of death."
He urged continued work to promote life and marriage with the "light that dissipates the darkness of the culture of death."
"If we win other difficult battles, we ought to win this battle as well. Our children and mothers deserve it."
Stressing the importance of fighting abortion, Bishop Reig Pla pointed to the abolition of slavery as a comparison.
"It's not possible to settle for abolishing slavery 'a little bit,'" he said. "It needs to be ended. The same thing happens with abortion."
"The future is not going to come through the deaths of children but through the promotion of women and motherhood, through a greater presence of fathers and their responsibility," the bishop emphasized.
"The future comes through the hands of married couples who joyfully live out faithful love and joyful openness to the gift of motherhood and fatherhood."