Luca Volontè rallies millions of supporters to defence of the traditional family
In a letter to the millions of French citizens who comprise 'Manif pour Tous' (March for All), the Hon. Luca Volontè, president of EPP-ED group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, lauded this momentous breakout of grassroots support for the traditional family and their willingness to stand up and be recognised. While admitting of the great hardships to come in this "battle for civilisation", Mr Volontè reminded his French audience of the words of Paul Claudel, "Pour se poser, il faut s'opposer!" – "If you want to count for something, stand up and be counted!"
In describing the upsurge of grassroots campaigners as "the most beautiful surprise of Europe this year" Mr Volontè painted a stark picture of the generational struggle underway: "In recent months, from the UK to Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, many believers and non-believers, Christians and Muslims alike, have descended to the streets with the courage to protest against the laws and policies of governments that seek to change society and our very human nature. In recent months, it seems to be politically incorrect to affirm the simple truth of the facts, the truth of human life, the truth of all ages, the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, truth of the family founded on the love of a father and mother, truth of the freedom to express their own religious beliefs in public."
As opposed to the authoritarian nature of their detractors, Mr Volontè praised the restrained, peaceful courage of March for All, "Your daily presence in public places with candles, your silence for reflection and prayer are the most resonant sound you could give the French government. A silence that can move mountains and ideological preconceptions throughout France and across Europe."
Striking back at the violence brought to bear upon such protesters, the Italian politician decried the creeping censorship being embedded throughout European nations, and highlighted the police repression witnessed so recently in France against large-scale, peaceful demonstrations: "Many of us are still horrified by the violence of the police in different countries of the world…so today, in this civilized Europe, images of unprecedented violence against children, parents, young people and priests in France are not provided by the public and private television."
Yet in spite of these struggles, the letter was filled with hope and encouraged the many millions, hailed by one commentator as a "formidable and diverse mass of people" to draw strength from their unity, and evoke the memory a France's former heroes: "From Scandinavia to Hungary, Poland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands to Bulgaria, a secular and Christian people, Jewish and Muslim rises to defend his convictions and affirm their dignity. You are not alone, I tell you with strength! You have shining examples before you, who defended the unity and sanctity of the French nation, from St. Joan of Arc to Jacques Maritain, Charles Peguy and today many other brave promoters of the truth of man."
Luca Volontè concluded with G.K. Chesterton's prophetic words of a hundred years ago: "Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer. We shall be left defending, not only the incredible virtues and sanities of human life, but something more incredible still, this huge impossible universe which stares us in the face. We shall fight for visible prodigies as if they were invisible. We shall look on the impossible grass and the skies with a strange courage."
Speaking ahead of his visit to France, Luca added "I would like to thank the leaders of Mainf pour Tous for inviting me to their manifestation this Sunday, 26th May, It is a great honour and a great sign of our close friendship."
[Letter translated from original French, which can be read here]