By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
WARSAW, June 4, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - More than 6,000 people marched in Warsaw on May 30 in the fifth annual March in Defense of Life and Family, very symbolically held on Mothers Day.
This year's march was held under the motto "A Family-Friendly State" and attracted families from across Poland and countries around the world including Belarus, Ukraine, Brazil, the United States, Germany, Portugal and France.
Special guests were representatives of the Association for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), along with several Members of Parliament and political candidates.
The March is organized by the Fr. Peter Skarga Association of Christian Culture (SKCh) and the Foundation Committee for the Celebration of the National Day of Life.
"We are here to demonstrate that the family is indeed the foundation of society," said Slawomir Olejniczak, president of the SKCh.
Olejniczak remarked that families should not expect support from the current leaders in government, whose recent introduction of legislation for counteracting domestic violence spotlights the family as a source of violence against children.
Olejniczak urged pro-lifers to exert influence and pressure on government leaders to preserve the autonomy of the family, which is the foundation of society and the state.
"We have no fear that Poland will survive as a nation and state to the end of the twenty-first century, if at all times we support the foundation which is the family," said the SKCh President.
"The family is threatened by civilization, a culture of death," Olejniczak stressed.
He noted that state institutions, which should support the family, are often in the service of the culture of death. "It can be seen in two aspects: on the one hand, continued attempts to interfere in the upbringing of a child, on the other hand, economic policy that is unfavorable to families," said Olejniczak.
The marchers made their way to the Church of St. Anne to the sound of pipes and drums. They chanted "Come with us, Families," and "Lower taxes for the Father and Mother" (which rhymes in Polish).
"The March is a joyous celebration," said Yaroslav Kniolek, director of the March organizing office. "It creates a community of people for whom family values are important."
"Family is the first environment which shapes the young person. Loving parents, a man and a woman, is the greatest gift to the newborn child. A young person growing in such an atmosphere, from the beginning is enriched in self-esteem, love for people, openness, confidence, and above all will support those close to him," Kniolek remarked.
Participants carried flags, balloons, and banners that read "Every Child has the Right to Birth," "Green Light for the Family," and "Sex-Ed is Depravity."
The Marchers stopped at the Presidential Palace where they paid tribute to and prayed for those killed in the catastrophic Smolensk plane crash. They finished with a family picnic at the "City of Mercy" that stretched along the march route from the Church of the Sisters of the Visitation all the way back to the Church of St. Anne.
"We are pleased that every year we manage to gather thousands of people who are positively attracted to life and family values," said Anna Szpindler, spokeswoman for the March organizers.
"We hope that policy makers pay attention to the fact that these values are important for such a large crowd of people. We believe that the welfare of families will become a priority challenge for them."
See related LSN article:
“Unprecedented” Threat to Parental Rights in Poland