August 23, 2011 ( – In a memorable address to more than 600 young pro-life activists, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney called on the youth to persevere in the battle to protect human life.


Cardinal Pell was addressing a packed pro-life conference – the Viva La Vida Festival – hosted by Ireland’s leading pro-life group, Youth Defence, as part of the 2011 celebrations of World Youth Day in Madrid.

“Every age is called to a battle between good and evil. Different generations are called to face different tasks and challenges,” said Cardinal Pell. He stated that abortion is the most important battle between good and evil facing this generation, and urged young pro-life activists to engage the public on life issues.

“I encourage you in your perseverance – not just for the next few months, but for the next 40-50 years,” said Cardinal Pell. “We can’t afford just to be talking to one another. We are convinced with the moral implications of this issue, thus we must work and do everything in our power to protect the most vulnerable.”

The cardinal ended with a call to the bishops of the Church saying, “If there is a total silence of bishops on important life issues, that is damaging and I’m tempted to say, disgraceful.”

The Viva La Vida Festival also featured other exciting speakers including Live Action’s President Lila Rose, Youth Defence Chairman Dr Eoghan De Faoite, and Fr Stan Fortuna, C.F.R.

Live Action’s President Lila Rose said, “We are all called to be active in the pro-life movement. We are all called (as St Catherine of Siena said) to set the world on fire. We must set our nation on fire for life. Together we will change the world and we must join together in this battle to protect all human life.”

Rose’s call was echoed by the conference hosts, Youth Defence, who said the conference aimed to unite and motivate young pro-life activists and to build the most dynamic and exciting movement for life possible.

“We cannot become apathetic, we must stand firm against the culture of death. We will not back down, we will not be silent… we will bring an end to abortion worldwide,” said Dr Eoghan De Faoite of Youth Defence.

“Viva La Vida works to educate, inspire, and bring young people from around the world together to encourage each other and work together to put an end to abortion throughout the world,” said Kate Bryan, an organizer of the pro-life Festival.

“It was such a beautiful experience to see young people from all over the world speaking to one another, sharing their experiences, and making plans to work together in the future. We can end abortion throughout the world, but we must work together to end abortion worldwide and to build a culture of life.”