“A genuine commitment to life does not put up barricades, but builds bridges for encounter and pathways for dialogue” (Marina Casini)
Brussels, 26 April 2023. Today, the General Assembly of the One of Us Federation, meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels for its annual assembly, renewed the main offices (president and vice-president) by unanimously electing Marina Casini as president, succeeding Jaime Mayor Oreja, who remains in the Federation as Honorary President. Spanish Pablo Siegrist was elected as vice-president, replacing the outgoing Thierry de La Villejegu, both from the Jerome Lejeune Fondation.
“Marina Casini is a gift of providence, as was her father Carlo Casini, because she is both the best guarantee and the best renewal for the One of Us Federation for the defence of human life, because as Fabrice Hadjadj says “the logic of abortion is the abortion of logic”,” said Jaime Mayor Oreja, co-founder of One of Us together with Carlo Casini, passing the baton to Marina Casini. ‘I am grateful for all that has been done in these 10 years,’ continued Mayor Oreja. ‘Despite the growing aggression against men and women, One of Us has not only survived, but has advanced the culture of life. We have various challenges and we have an obligation not to resign ourselves and to resist by bringing an alternative to the dominant thinking. I have total confidence in Marina and am at her complete disposal,” he said.
“Carlo Casini has been a hope for Europe,” said Jakub Baltroszewiz, secretary of One of Us, joyfully proclaiming the election of the new president.
Ten years after the birth of the Federation, which brings together 50 associations from 24 European countries, Marina Casini, also president of the Italian Pro-Life Movement, jurist and lecturer in Bioethics and Bio-law at the Bioethics and Medical Humanities section of the Catholic University of Rome, is the first woman to head this European organisation that defends the right to life and the dignity of every man and woman from conception to natural death.
Grateful for the trust placed in her, Marina Casini, “is honoured by this appointment”.
“I have confidence in our unity,” said Casini, which is based on the “principle of equality, the cornerstone of modernity, on popular mobilisation, on the strategic and operational unity of all those who want to defend and promote human life”.
The One of Us Federation is the first major European pro-life experience, recalls the new president, who emphasises that “we are facing a siege against life that John Paul II called ‘war of the powerful against the weak”. This is why she continues “we have a duty to strengthen the organisational coordination of our Federation”.
There are four guidelines for the new president
1) affirming the value of life means laying the foundation stone for a general moral and civic renewal that looks to the future;
2) properly constructing the ideas of secularism, justice, freedom, democracy, human dignity, and the person;
3) an authentic commitment to life does not raise barricades, but builds bridges for encounter and openings for dialogue;
4) language and actions for life must arouse sympathy for the truth, which must never be silenced.
The other members of the Executive Committee of One of Us continue their commitment together with Ana del Pino, the historic coordinator.
The election of Marina Casini, also on the occasion of the European Parliament’s Week for Life 2023, dedicated to the ‘Protection of fundamental rights in the EU: the fundamental right to life’, is particularly significant in this delicate period in which there is an increasingly aggressive attempt in the Union to deny the fundamental rights laid down in Article 2 of the Union Treaties, i.e. respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, respect for the law and respect for minorities.
Rights that are in danger not only of not being respected, as is already partly the case, but of being eliminated, at least for a part of the citizens, women and men, of Europe.
This election is in itself a message of hope for the European people who are proud bearers of rights, first and foremost the right to life without discrimination, and of a culture that welcomesevery human being.
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