A powerful papal speech over the weekend to members of the Foreign Press Association in Rome as you will see below (I did change the title of the Vatican media report). But what a lot of people were waiting for over the weekend were some words from Italy’s bishops, either individually or from the CEI (Italian Episcopal conference) or even something from Pope Francis – perhaps a sentence at the Sunday Regina Coeli – about Saturday’s March for Life in Rome.

Nor was it mentioned, even one line, in the Vatican media!

This was the 9th March for Life and the first that EWTN televised from the Eternal City.

Once again, for the 9th time, an important Italian or Vatican voice was missing.

As Robert Royal of the Faith and Reason Institute wrote recently:
“Something out of the ordinary happened this past week. On Saturday, over 10,000 people walked the streets of Rome in defense of children in the womb. Italian lay people have organized a march for nine years now, and it grows – despite no support from the Italian bishops – including the pope.

On Friday, Francis did encourage members of the Catholic Medical Association to ”defend life,” though so vaguely that you couldn’t tell whether he was talking about abortion, euthanasia, immigration, climate, poverty – or all of them (more of this below).

But as usual no Italian bishops participated in the Marcia per la Vita – they’ve been saying that they don’t want it to be seen as only “Catholic,” though why is not clear. And that they prefer to work through elected officials rather than public protest (though they seem to support other public demonstrations, e.g., on immigration and poverty, and don’t have any natural partners in government now that the Christian Democrats have splintered). Italian television, accordingly, didn’t even mention the march occurred.

The lone Italian prelate in the past, Archbishop Viganò, was missing, for good reasons.”

To continue reading: https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2019/05/20/the-new-pro-life-moment/

Saturday was happily a big pro-life day in the Eternal City as Rome was the site of the 9th annual Italian March for Life – Marcia per la Vita – organized by the Italian Families of Tomorrow Association. Thousands of pro-lifers – Italians and people from a number of other countries – marched for over 3 hours through several central Roman streets, starting at Piazza Repubblica and ending in Rome’s central Pza. Venezia where speakers addressed the crowd from a huge stage.

Lay people, priests, men and women religious and numerous missionaries of all ages and many languages gathered behind two cardinals, Raymond Burke of the United States and Dutch Cardinal Willem Eijk. Clouds and some rain had started the day but the weather changed to favor the joy-filled marchers as they processed through Rome’s streets, praying the rosary, singing songs and bearing banners with pro-life slogans in different languages: “Life is sacred, defend it from the start,” “Let’s not kill the future,” “Enough of silent genocide!” “Wake up, Europe, wake up in Christ!”

Colorful flags dotted the scenery as pro-life organizations from France, Spain, Poland, Romania and Canada made appearances at the 2019 march. Members of the Order of Malta were also present. Well-known faces included Gianna Molla, the daughter of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, a Roman pediatrician who developed a tumor during pregnancy but refused medical intervention as it would have harmed her unborn baby. She told her husband to save the child and that’s what happened. John Paul II canonized her in 2004. Celebrated pro-life actor Eduardo Verastegui taped a message for marchers, encouraging them to keep fighting for the unborn.


Meeting some 400 journalists of the Foreign Press Association of Italy on May 18, Pope Francis urged a humble and free journalism.
By Robin Gomes (vaticannews)

Pope Francis is encouraging a humble and free journalism that does not indulge in selling the “rotten food of misinformation” but rather offers the healthy bread of truth and goodness.

“I therefore urge you to work according to truth and justice, so that communication is truly an instrument for building, not for destroying; for meeting, not for clashing; for dialoguing, not for a monologue; for orienting, for disorienting; for understanding, not misunderstanding; for walking in peace, not for sowing hatred; for giving a voice to those who have no voice, not for being a megaphone to those who shout louder,” said Francis

Pope Francis expressed his and the Church’s esteem for their precious work, saying it “contributes to the search for the truth, and only the truth makes us free.”

Underscoring humility as the fundamental element of their profession, the Argentine Pope said that the search for truth entails many difficulties and much humility. The presumption of already knowing everything, he said, blocks the search for truth. An article, a tweet or a live report, he said, can do good but also evil to others and sometimes to entire communities if one is not careful and scrupulous.

Noting that certain “screaming” headlines can create a false representation of reality, he urged journalists to resist the temptation to publish news that has not been sufficiently verified.

Instead, he said, the humble journalist tries to know the facts correctly and completely before telling and commenting on them. Such journalism does not feed “the excess of slogans that, instead of setting the thought in motion, cancel it out”.

The Pope lamented the use of violent and derogatory language that hurts and sometimes destroys people. In a time of too many hostile words, in which saying bad things about others has become a habit for many, along with that of classifying people, we must always remember that each person has his or her intangible dignity, which can never be taken away.

At a time when many people are spreading fake news, “humility prevents you from selling the rotten food of misinformation and invites you to offer the good bread of truth.”

Emphasizing that, “freedom of the press and of expression is an important indicator of the state of health of a country,” the Pope shared the pain of journalists killed while carrying out their work with courage and dedication to report on what many people face during wars and the dramatic situations.
He said, “We need journalists who are on the side of the victims, of those who are persecuted, on the side of those who are excluded, discarded, discriminated against.

Journalists, he said, are needed to recall the many forgotten situations of suffering and wars, such as those of the Rohingya and the Yazidi.

He thanked them for helping the world not forget the lives that are suffocated even before they are born; those that are just born that are extinguished by hunger, hardship, lack of care, wars; the lives of child soldiers and the lives of children violated.

He called on reporters to help the world remember those persecuted and discriminated against for their faith or ethnicity and the victims of violence and trafficking in human beings. He said those forced to leave their homes because of disasters, wars, terrorism, hunger and thirst, are not numbers, but a face, a story and a desire for happiness.

“There is a submerged ocean of goodness that deserves to be known and that gives strength to our hope,” said Francis, noting that women journalists are particularly sensitive to such stories of life.

At the end of his talk, Pope Francis gifted each journalist with a copy of a book entitled, “Communicare il Bene” (Communicating the Good), containing his talks to various groups of journalists and his messages for World Communications Days.