ZAGREB, June 7, 2011 ( – “In today’s society the presence of exemplary Christian families is more necessary and urgent than ever,” Pope Benedict XVI told the people of Croatia on Sunday at a Mass before a crowd of hundreds of thousands. 


Celebrating the Mass for the for the National Day of Croatian Catholic Families, the pope said “we are forced to acknowledge the spread of a secularization which leads to the exclusion of God from life and the increasing disintegration of the family, especially in Europe.”

“We are called to oppose” the mentality of love reduced to sexual gratification without marriage and openness to life, he said.

The pope called on families to “be courageous.”

“Alongside what the Church says, the testimony and commitment of the Christian family – your concrete testimony – is very important, especially when you affirm the inviolability of human life from conception until natural death, the singular and irreplaceable value of the family founded upon matrimony and the need for legislation which supports families in the task of giving birth to children and educating them,” he said.

See the Pope’s full homily here.