Zaragoza November 7, 2009
Day two at the 4th Prolife World Congress
More people continued to register today for the conference filling the halls and overwhelming the exhibit area. Today’s talks and events included: The Beginning of Human Life, The Juridical-Constitutional Scene of Abortion in the World, Social Network of Support to Pregnant Women, a Need for Adoption and many workshops and strategy sessions.
Fr Frank Pavone who had been invited to address the conference participants could not be present due to previous commitments to speak in Rome later this month but prepared remarks in advance and sent Bob Lalonde, PFL's International Director to read them. Fr Pavone conveyed his solidarity with the million plus prolife marchers back on October 17 who took to the streets of Madrid to let the authorities know they were against legalizing abortion and he urged them to continue to do what they could to peacefully bring about an end to abortion in Spain. Fr Pavone thanked the Federation of Prolife Associations for the opportunity to speak with conference participants about the various PFL ministries doing so much good around the world such as Rachel's Vineyard, Silent No More, and Missionaries of the Gospel of Life.
Fr Pavone sent a lot of PFL Spanish prolife materials to be given out freely during the conference. He also expressed gratitude to EWTN for launching a new Defending Life series in Spanish with PFL's Fr. Victor Salomon as host which is shown around the world and available in Spain on Imagenio channel 184 and ONO channel 160.
Copies of Fr Pavone's prepared remarks in Spanish and English are available at www.priestsforlife.org/articles/zaragoza-pavone-spanish.pdf and www.priestsforlife.org/articles/zaragoza-pavone-english.pdf
The evening closed with "One million candles" being lit in the city center of Zaragoza to represent the number of abortions carried out in Spain. Thousands of small groups of young and old lined the streets, particularly near the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, prayed and lit candles in memory of the little ones killed by abortion.
Day 3 (final) Zaragoza, Spain
Conference began with many going to an early Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar and then more talks including Let's Make Universal the Culture of Life, Benjamin Correa, Parliamentarians for Life (Chile); Gender Ideology and Respect Life, Angela Aparisi, Professor of Philosophy, University of Navarre; Avoiding abortions: Benigno Blanco Rodriguez, President of the Spanish Forum of the Family.
The conference gave out humanitarian awards for outstanding service to Human Life International (accepted by Magaly Llaguno and Jorge Serrano, Directors for Latin America) and Congressman Chris Smith (accepted by Dan Zeidler). Two excellent choices and both great friends of Fr Pavone and the entire PFL pastoral team.
The closing speech was given by John Smeaton, National Director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC is the longest running prolife organization in the world - based in the UK), the talk was entitled Guidelines for a Prolife Agenda for Europe in the Coming Years. Mr Smeaton's talk was just what the conference needed to hear and helped focus three days of information, discussion and debate into a common direction for the future. You can read more about his talk at www.spuc.org.uk. John Smeaton and SPUC have been long term friends and allies of Fr Pavone and PFL in their common defense of the unborn throughout the world.
Fr Pavone believes that this 4th Prolife World Congress with simultaneous translation, attended by over a thousand people from 14 countries was not only an important success for Spain but also a model for all of Europe and he is committing Priests for Life to continue doing what it can to put an end to abortion in Europe and help build a culture of life. Fr Pavone congratulates the Spanish Federation of Prolife Associations and the Prolife World Congress for their commitment to life and is grateful for the opportunity Priests for Life was given to be a part of this historic meeting. We are also particularly grateful to Pilar Gutierrez and Sandra Gutiérrez, Unidos por la vida for coordinating our many bishop and prolife leader meetings during our time in Spain and their work for the unborn.
With the PFL Chapel's new corporal from the Carmelite convent of St Theresa of Avila, blessed by three of Spain's most courageous prolife bishops, rest assured that Spain's prolife movement and the victims of abortion will long be remembered in our prayers.
Go to http://priestsforlife.org/frontlines/trip-home.aspx?tripid=385 for part 1 of our update
Go to http://priestsforlife.org/frontlines/trip-home.aspx?tripid=387 for part 2 of our udate