Pope Benedict XVI receives gifts from children upon his arrival to Zagreb airport, Croatia, Saturday, June 4, 2011. Pope Benedict XVI is on a two-day visit to Croatia. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

During a brief visit to Croatia at the end of last week,
Pope Benedict addressed a crowd of over 400,000 people at the country’s first
annual family day in the capital, Zagreb.

“Do not give in to that secularized mentality which proposes
living together as a preparation, or even a substitute for marriage! Show by
the witness of your lives that it is possible, like Christ, to love without
reserve, and do not be afraid to make a commitment to another person!”

The Pope also called on the nation’s families to reject
contraception and to be open to children:

“Dear families, rejoice in fatherhood and motherhood!
Openness to life is a sign of openness to the future, confidence in the future,
just as respect for the natural moral law frees people, rather than demeaning

Relativism, he said, made love superficial and transient :

“Freedom without commitment to the truth is made into an
absolute, and individual well-being through the consumption of material goods
and transient experiences is cultivated as an ideal, obscuring the quality of
interpersonal relations and deeper human values; love is reduced to sentimental
emotion and to the gratification of instinctive impulses, without a commitment
to build lasting bonds of reciprocal belonging and without openness to life,”
he observed.

“We are called to oppose such a mentality!”

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet