Face adversity with courage, pope tells Italy's pro-life marchers

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- There are no compromises when it comes to human life, Pope Francis said.

"Go forward with courage despite every adversity," he said in a written message to organizers and participants in Italy's national March for Life June 22.

The national march, which goes through the center of Rome, was expected to bring thousands of families together to say "No" to a throwaway culture of death and advocate for more support for expectant mothers, children, the elderly and the sick, according to organizers.

In his message, which was republished by Vatican News June 21, Pope Francis thanked supporters for their "commitment and public witness in defense of human life from conception to natural death."

What is at stake is "the absolute dignity of human life, a gift of God the creator," he wrote. "The stakes are too high to be subjected to compromise or mediation."

The pope invited those taking part in the march to demonstrate "the beauty of life and the family that welcomes it" so as to build a society "that rejects the throwaway culture for every stage of life: from the most fragile unborn child to the suffering elderly, including victims of trafficking, slavery and all wars."