LIMA, Peru — Three-quarters of a million people paraded through downtown Lima on Saturday in a massive celebration of life from conception to natural death.
Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne addressed the crowd March 12, urging prayers for the family and for any women who “for some reason, in a moment of weakness, unfortunately aborted” their children, saying that forgiveness is always necessary.
However, he stressed, “We can’t just easily let them say abortion is a right. It’s not a right; it’s murder!”
Cardinal Cipriani said Pope Francis sent his blessing to the Lima March for Life during their March 4 meeting in Rome with the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The cardinal showed the Holy Father the official poster for this year’s march, and the Pope gave his blessing and wished them as much success as they had last year.
“We are people of peace; we’re tolerant people; we wish the whole world had that freedom of speech,” Cardinal Cipriani said.
“And so we’ve expressed ourselves that way today. Really, it’s the youth that give us so much hope; you can really bring about change.”
The March for Life paraded down Brasil Avenue en route to the Costa Verde seaside highway to gather on the seashore.
The celebration continued with a concert focusing on the importance of defending life, the dignity of women and the family.
Catholics, brought together by the Archdiocese of Lima, as well as Christians of various denominations, participated in the march. A multitude of young people, pregnant mothers, families with young children, elderly and people with disabilities joined in the event, chanting pro-life songs and slogans.
Several presidential and congressional politicians up for election attended the event in order to express their commitment to opposing abortion.
In Peru, a person’s life is protected under the constitution, the civil code, the Code for Children and Adolescents and the American Convention on Human Rights of the Organization of American States from conception until natural death. Each year the country celebrates the life of unborn babies with the March 25 “Unborn Children’s Day.”