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PARIS - Everyone thought they had disappeared, and they had indeed become invisible to most of us. But for the past six months, they have been resurfacing and taking to the streets relentlessly to protest against gay marriage.

They use their networks to organize events and rallies, as well as candlelit sit-ins and vigils. As defenders of the so-called traditional family, they represent a large proportion of those who march against same-sex marriage.

“It is a real groundswell,” says Christine Pedotti, editor-in-chief at Témoignage chrétien (“Christian Testimony”), the only Catholic magazine to favor gay marriage. “These young conservative activists obey the Church hierarchy and are addicted to family values and genuflecting. This is the new face of the Church.”

This new generation of Catholics – the John Paul II and Benedict XVI generation – became the unexpected sentinel of the Church in the battle against gay marriage, which started on August 15 with a “Prayer for France.”

Ultimately, despite a continuing series of protests, France last month became the latest country to approve same-sex marriage and adoption.

Nonetheless these young militants have vowed to continue their battle -- proud and riding high on their newfound activism,  miles away from their elders’ modest discretion.

“Today, everyone asserts their identity, why shouldn't we?” asks Maxence, who speaks to us with her friends Solène, Marine, Eléonore, Bertrand and Michel, all aged between 18 and 19.

All have been to the Catholic Church's World Youth Day at least once, and some have taken part in marches against abortion. “Do not be afraid. Have the courage to live the Gospel and the boldness to proclaim it” was Joseph Ratzinger's message to the youth in his 2008 prayer vigil in front of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

These young people heard it loud and clear. According to philosopher Marcel Gauchet, “It is a major historic change. This youth is both conservative and modern. It is like a whole new continent to be explored.”



Read the full article: French, Catholic And Proud: Gay Marriage Battle Fuels New Kind Of Youth Revolution - All News Is Global
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