FaithWorld

Pope urges help for traditional families crumbling in secularised Europe

June 5, 2011

(Pope Benedict XVI arrives to lead a solemn mass in Zagreb June 5, 2011. The Pope is on a two-day visit to Croatia/Alessandro Bianchi)

Pope Benedict warned on Sunday that the traditional family in Europe was disintegrating under the weight of secularization and called for laws to help couples cope with the costs of having and educating children. On the second day of his trip to Croatia, a bastion of Roman Catholicism in the Balkans, the pope said an open-air mass for hundreds of thousands of people and hammered home one of the major themes of his papacy.

“Unfortunately, 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,” he said in his sermon on the edge of the capital.

The 84-year-old Benedict’s sermon was the latest in a series of salvos against what the Church sees as growing anti-Catholicism and “Christianophobia” in Europe. Speaking on the day Croatia, whose population of 4.4 million people is 90 percent Catholic, celebrates its “Family Day,” he denounced practices such abortion, cohabitation as a “substitute for marriage,” and artificial birth control.

The pope urged Catholic families throughout Europe not to give in to a creeping “secularized mentality” and called for “legislation which supports families in the task of giving birth to children and educating them.”

The sermon reflected the Vatican’s belief that the Catholic Church in Europe is under assault by some national governments and European institutions over issues such as gay marriage, abortion, religious education and the use of Christian religious symbols in public places.

Read the full story here. For more on the pope’s visit, see Pope tells Croatians EU too bureaucratic, sometimes ignores local cultures

.

Follow FaithWorld on Twitter at RTRFaithWorld

rss buttonSubscribe to all posts via RSS

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/