OTTAWA (CCN)—Canada’s Catholic Bishops issued a statement of support for Marches for Life on May 9 in cities across Canada.

“The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), in profound unison with Pope Francis, affirms that all human life should be respected and protected from the moment of conception until natural death,” the bishops said in a May 9 statement.

“The Bishops of Canada have and will continue to advocate and collaborate with organizations across the country, many of which are not Catholic, in endeavours to bring together people from different perspectives who believe in the sanctity of life.”

“Events such as the annual and regional Marches for Life are meaningful opportunities to unite thousands of people speaking with one voice to proclaim the dignity of all human life,” the statement said.

The bishops declared the Catholic Church’s teaching  that the "distinctiveness of human life is an absolute good," and that "abortion and euthanasia [are] extremely grave evils that contradict the Spirit of life and plunge us into the anti-culture of death."

“Likewise, Pope Francis has recently observed that the ‘threshold of basic respect for human life is being crossed, and brutally at that, not only by instances of individual conduct but also by the effects of societal choices and structures.’”

The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), co-sponsored by the CCCB and the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council, noted this year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the bill that decriminalized abortion under some restrictions.

“Almost 20 years later, the Supreme Court of Canada’s ‘Morgentaler decision’ struck down the legal restrictions on abortions as unconstitutional,” COLF said. “Canada along with China, North Korea, and Vietnam are the only countries which have no restriction in law with regard to abortion.”

“The attack on human life in Canada is not only limited to preborn persons; with the passing of Bill C-14 in 2016 we have legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide,” COLF said, noting there are efforts to expand the law to include mature minors, those with advance directives and those with mental illness.

 “What can we do in the face of what seems to be an unstoppable evil? We truly are living in a ‘culture of death,’” COLF said. “Yet God is the author of life; all that he fashions is sanctified by his saving love. Therefore, as Christians we live in hope.”

“Through Jesus, our crucified and risen Lord, the victory over sin and death has been won. This certainty impels us to persevere in all efforts to establish a culture of life,” COLF said.

“We will not sit idly by; we shall continue to fight for the preborn, to aid mothers in need, and to support the suffering and the dying when they are most vulnerable,” COLF said. “We shall continue to lift up our voices so that justice is restored once again in our land.”

  Pro-lifers at the B.C. Legislature at the March for Life in Victoria.  (Matthew Furtado photo)