Among more than 100 associations supporting the “Let’s Choose Life” event taking place on 21 May in Rome, Pro Vita & Famiglia is obviously in the forefront, both as participants and as organizers. On this occasion, iFamNews contacted Jacopo Coghe, vice president of this non-profit, who explained the secular, “ecumenical” and “cross-cultural” nature of the event. If the value of life from conception to natural death is at stake, the last thing that needs to be done is to sow division among people. On the contrary, it is important to work together and issue a challenge to the whole country, having in mind a fundamental assumption: saying “yes” to life first of all means shunning trivializations, clichés and what appear to be the easiest solutions.
Coghe, this is not the first time that demonstrations or marches for life have been held in Italy. What are the major new elements compared to past experiences?
A novelty on the concrete level concerns the route, as this time we will arrive at St. John’s Square, where the event will finish with a concert by the band The Sun. It will be a celebration, a celebration of the goodness and beauty of human life. The other news is that 110 associations have joined the event: a body coming together to send a message, to affirm that life is always worthy, from conception to natural death. We hope it will be a time of celebration and joy. It will certainly also be a time to bear witness to truth as the procession will go through the entire center of Rome. It will be a time to be able to reaffirm the value of the dignity of human life, and it will be good to witness it along the streets of the capital.
Is the membership of such a large number of associations a sign of a search for unity in pro-life circles?
Absolutely, there is a need for unity. On an issue like life even more so, because united, together, we can change a mindset, a culture and perhaps, tomorrow, even a law.
Are you referring to Law 194?
Today, of course, amending Law 194 is unthinkable; the political conditions are not present. What is certain is that we are thinking positively–the event is themed “Let’s Choose Life”–and posing a challenge to Italy: to hope that more and more men and women will choose life, as opposed to all other solutions, which are presented as easy fixes, painless and comfortable.
This demonstration aims to be not so much against abortion or euthanasia as simply for life, at all levels. Could this proactive and affirmative spirit allow for a broadening of the perimeter of the Italian pro-life culture?
Certainly, life is a cross-cutting value. Adherents include not only Catholic but also evangelical and Muslim associations. The pro-life people are attacked under the pretext of being against supposed rights but, in reality, these people are for life, they are the ones defending rights, they are the ones standing up for solidarity, for hope, for dignity. Positivity is inherent in the very value of life.
Professor Massimo Gandolfini, one of the two spokesmen for the event, said that one of the aims is to encourage Italians to have more children.
Yes, especially at this time of profound demographic crisis, at a time when, during the pandemic, we used to hear about deaths every day, tallying up the death toll due to COVID on a daily basis, it seems absurd to me, this total absence of welcoming new lives. It seems absurd to me to talk only about abortion or euthanasia, when we need to make a qualitative leap, a change of mentality. We don’t plan to do it with this event, we plan to plant a seed this year, next year, then in two years, then again in three years. It will be a long and constant work, however, we hope it bears fruit in the coming generations.