Thousands flock to Pro-Family March in Italy

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Thousands flock to Pro-Family March in Italy

A huge turn-out for Life! Several tens of thousands of people marched in support of the World Congress of Families on Sunday, on the final day of their conference in northern Italy.

 

Participants in the city of Verona carried pink and blue balloons and placards with slogans such as “Yes to life, not to abortion”.

Supporters traveled by train and coach from all over Italy to attend the march, which came a day after pro-death protesters staged their own demonstration denouncing the organisation’s anti-abortion and pro-family stance.

Before the march started at around midday, those gathered listened to a message from the organisers of the Congress.

“The family, fundamental pillar of our society, must be at the centre of government policies,” they said in their closing statement.

Some marchers carried tiny rubber models to represent a 10-week old foetus. They came with the message: “Abortion stops a beating heart.”

The three-day conference attracted senior political figures from the populist right including Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and two other government ministers.

But the event also revealed divisions in the ruling coalition of Salvini’s League party and the anti-Establishment Five Star Movement. But Salvini’s coalition partner Luigi Di Maio, leader of the libertarian Five Star Movement, denounced the World Congress of Families as a gathering of “fanatics”.

“The vision defended by this Congress in Verona is a vision of the world that belongs for the most part to the Middle Ages, which considers women as submissive,” said the liberal-leftist De Maio.

Salvini, while backing the Congress’s vision of a family as one composed of “a father and a mother”, rejected calls by some participants to abolish Italy’s laws.

“You don’t touch the 194 law,” said Salvini, referring to the 1978 legislation that legalised abortion. “There’s no debate either on abortion, or on marriage. Everyone makes love with whoever they want, and dines with whoever they want,” he added. Yet another supposedly ‘far-right’ populist has thus exposed himself and his ‘ideas’ as being totally unable even to begin to comprehend – let alone address – the civilisational train-crach looming for Europe.

Founded in 1997 by the American Brian Brown, the World Congress of Families has held an annual meeting since 2012.

Its credo, as stated on its website, is to “affirm, celebrate, and defend the natural family as the only fundamental and sustainable unit of society”.

Previous meetings include one in Hungary, which enjoyed the patronage of the country’s far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

As well as Salvini, other speakers at this year’s event include the President of Moldova Igor Dodon — a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Hungary’s ultra-conservative Families Minister Katalin Novak and a senior figure in the Russian Orthodox Church, Dmitri Smirnov, were also listed as speakers.

Two other Italian ministers were listed as speakers at the Congress: Lorenzo Fontana, Minister for Families and Disabilities and Education Minister Marco Busetti.

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