Today is the March for Life in Washington, DC. Today thousands upon thousands of young people, old people, men, women, and children will take to the streets of our nation’s capitol in support of protecting human life at every stage from conception to natural death.
In honor of the continuing efforts to foster a culture of life and civilization of love, over the next few days we’ll showcase five quotes that highlight the role of marriage and the family in protecting and nurturing human life. Both Bl. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have spoken eloquently of the connection between marriage and life, and it is a theme woven through Catholic social teaching.
These quotes certainly aren’t all the Church has to say on the subject! But they were selected because they make crystal clear the important vocation that married couples and families have in advancing a culture of life. Supporting marriage between one man and one woman is a pro-life thing to do!
Quote #1: Bl. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 92
“As the domestic church, the family is summoned to proclaim, celebrate, and serve the Gospel of life. This is a responsibility which first concerns married couples, called to be givers of life, on the basis of an ever greater awareness of the meaning of procreation as a unique event which clearly reveals that human life is a gift received in order then to be given as a gift. In giving origin to new life, parents recognize that the child, ‘as the fruit of their mutual gift of love, is, in turn, a gift for both of them, a gift which flows from them.’”
Quote #2: Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 231
“The family founded on marriage is truly the sanctuary of life, ‘the place in which life – the gift of God – can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth.’ Its role in promoting and building the culture of life against ‘the possibility of a destructive “anti-civilization,” as so many present trends and situations confirm,’ is decisive and irreplaceable.”
Quote #3: Pope Benedict XVI, Address (Feb. 9, 2008)
“God entrusts to women and men, according to their respective capacities, a specific vocation and mission in the Church and in the world. Here I am thinking of the family, a community of love open to life, the fundamental cell of society. In it the woman and the man, thanks to the gift of maternity and paternity, together carry out an irreplaceable role in regard to life. Children from their conception have the right to be able to count on their father and mother to take care of them and to accompany their growth.”
Quote #4: Bl. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, no. 37
“The family is the first and fundamental school of social living: As a community of love, it finds in self-giving the law that guides it and makes it grow. The self-giving that inspires the love of husband and wife for each other is the model and norm for the self-giving that must be practiced in the relationships between brothers and sisters and the different generations living together in the family. And the communion and sharing that are part of everyday life in the home at times of joy and at times of difficulty are the most concrete and effective pedagogy for the active, responsible and fruitful inclusion of the children in the wider horizon of society.”
Quote #5: Pope Benedict XVI, Address (Sept. 22, 2012)
“The commitment to respecting life in all its phases from conception to natural death…is, in fact, interwoven with respecting marriage as an indissoluble union between a man and a woman and, in its turn, as the foundation for the community of family life.”