By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
PRAGUE, March 23, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The tenth annual March for Life in the Czech capital took place on Saturday, March 20th, with over 2000 participants taking to the streets carrying white wooden crosses, which the organizers prepared "as symbols of the genocide of abortion."
The march began at the Dominican church of St. Giles in Prague's Old City, where special guest Msgr. Andreas Laun, the auxiliary bishop of Salzburg, Austria, and the secretary general of the Czech Bishop's Conference, Msgre. Ladislav Hucko, concelebrated Holy Mass with 23 priests from all over the country.
Bishop Laune said in his homily that a Catholic must defend life in all its stages and that the struggle for the restoration of respect for life in our time is of the utmost importance.
The marchers then proceeded through the Old Town Square to Wenceslas Square where they gathered around the statue of St. Wenceslas, sang the Czech national anthem along with the St. Wenceslas Chorale choir and received the bishop's blessing.
The march is organized by the Czech Movement for Life and brings together pro-life advocates from across the country, as well as world-renowned speakers and church leaders.
This year's march was preceded by a conference called "The Traps of Artificial Fertilization" with guest speakers Bishop Laun, pastoral youth counselor P. Zatloukal, gynecologist Dr. Mario Smehil, and Czech Movement for Life vice-president Zdenka Rybova.
Bishop Laun spoke on the distinction between licit and ethical infertility treatments and unethical assisted reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization.
Mr. Zatloukal spoke of his experience in the pastoral care of youth and about the dangers that await teenagers and young adults who were conceived by the so-called test-tube method.
Dr. Smehil explained how the various processes of in vitro fertilization take place, and addressed the ethical problem of respect for the integrity of human beings in the earliest moments of biological development.
Zdenka Rybova briefly talked about ethical solutions to infertility, including the adoption of children.
Photos of this year's Prague March For Life are available here.
See related LSN articles:
Czech Republic's Christian Democrats Propose Abortion Restrictions
"Day of the Unborn Child" Celebrated Internationally on March 25, Remembrance of Christ's Incarnation