Pope Francis surprises attendees of Italy’s March for Life

Pope Benedict XVI never flew to America to participate in the March for Life. But Pope Francis might.

Life Site News is reporting that after delivering his weekly Regina Coeli address this past Sunday, Pope Francis surprised the 40,000 or so participants in Italy’s third annual March for Life by greeting them as they gathered just outside St. Peter’s Square following the march.

Stephen Driscoll Pope

Stephen Driscoll / CNA

The organizers of the event did not know the Holy Father would meet with them, but were delightfully surprised when they saw the popemobile heading their way. “It was a great joy for us because we didn’t expect this at all,” said event organizer Virginia Coda Nunziante. “It was extraordinary because I met the people who unexpectedly saw him coming.”

The aim of the march, according to NC Register, is to affirm the sanctity of all human life and to urge others to denounce all legislation that is against the natural law.

The march was intentionally held on Sunday, May 12th (when Italians celebrate Mother’s Day) to highlight the fact that since abortion became legal in Italy in 1978, more than 5 million unborn children have been aborted.

Pro-life activist Lila Rose, founder and director of Live Action, spoke at the event. She told ZENIT, a Catholic news agency, that “the energy and the enthusiasm of the people here, to remove abortion from Italy, and make it a country that protects all human rights, is a beautiful thing to see.”

“It’s not just here in Italy, it’s not just Rome, it’s not just Italians, it’s not just Europeans: it’s people from all over the world,” she continued. “We’re marching together in solidarity for the protection of the weakest.”

Former Archbishop of St. Louis, Cardinal Raymond Burke, describes his experience with the march in this video released by Catholic News Service

As for those who think Pope Francis might attend next year’s March for Life in Washington, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. I’m sure he’s got more important things to do. Then again, he’s shown us that he’s not afraid to do things his predecessors have not. We’ll just have to wait and see.


Categories:Abortion Pope Francis Pro-Life Video

  • Antonio A. Badilla

    I think it is wonderful that Pope Francis joined the March for Life in Rome but I still find comparisons between the two Popes to be if not repugnant, at least offensive. Everyone has his or her own way of doing things and that should be respected.

    • Stephen Kokx

      Why are you so offended, Antonio? I think you need to re-read the article. I never compared or condemned his actions at all. Relax.

      • Antonio A. Badilla

        Stephen, I might relax if you didn’t write things like this, “Pope Benedict XVI never flew to America to participate in the March for Life. But Pope Francis might.”
        See Stephen, I’m old enough to remember the dumb comparison between “good old Pope John” and “cool, aloof” Pius XII. I never understood such comparisons. The two men came from very different backgrounds, had a different temperament, their education was very different, and the way they both reacted to situations was also very different. When folks said, “Good old Pope John,” they made it sound that there was nothing good about Pius XII. You might not have the intention to make comparisons, but they show through in your article nevertheless, and yes Stephen, I did read it because you write well and I acknowledge that much.

        • Stephen Kokx


          Thanks for letting me know where you are coming from. And thank you for the kind words about my writing!

          I can see what you mean with Pope John and Pius XII. I think sometimes us Catholics have attachments to certain Popes and tend to defend them with all our might, and sometimes that results in us saying things we don’t mean.

          But, I still think you are overreacting. Can we not have an honest discussion about the differences between our popes? I mean, they are human beings. Was what I said really that offensive to you? Even repugnant? It was an innocent remark that I could have written about any of the popes since the March for Life started. It was not meant to fan any flames.

          • Antonio A. Badilla


            It is very rare that I disagree with you or any of the writers at CatholicVote.org, but from time to time, I do.
            You are right in perceiving that many people have favorite Popes, mine happens to be Venerable Pius XII. I’ve read all the lives of most of the Popes of the XXth Century, including the “Memories” of Benedict XVI published when he was only a bishop in 1977, but the life of Pius has always impressed me and his encyclicals are so intellectual, they appeal to my sense of reason. I also sense that the man was a man of holiness and judge him by his “whole” life, not just by what he did during WWII, He is also the most quoted Pope of the Second Vatican Council. When Blessed John XXIII came into the historical picture his style of governing was completely different from Pius’ style. The two men were completely different. Then I began to hear the comparisons and frankly, I found them very disturbing, because I believe each man was different and should be judge on his own merits.
            When Pope Francis was elected, many began to disparage the Pope emeritus and that made me questioned how “loyal” some Catholics were to him. Yes, I want Pope Francis to wear the mozzeta, the red shoes, beautiful miters, and the fenon, but I realize that is not who he is, but he is as much Vicar of Christ as the Pope Emeritus was. Also, one is much younger and the other one older, and ironically, both were looking for retirement when they were elected.
            I did not mean to offend you or upset you, it’s just that I am a bit sensitive to this issue.
            Stephen, I know that you think we should have honest discussions about their differences, yet, in the days following the conclave, most Catholic blogs did not allow anyone to be critical of what many perceived as the failures of the new Pope. Of course, the more I read about his homilies on the Devil, the more I like him.

  • http://CatholicReligionTeacher.com Greg Aitchison

    The real question is: If Pope Francis showed up for the D.C. March for Life, would the mainstream media actually report on it?

    • Antonio A. Badilla

      The answer is “no.” They would ignore the Pope as they have ignored the March for Life for many years, and I’m sure the IRS would also investigate those pesky pro-lifers and the government would deny it.



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