Pope Benedict on Saturday met with Orthodox Christians during a tour stop in Freiburg, Germany, the AP reported.

During the third day of a visit to his native Germany, the 84-year-old pope called for a common front with Christian churches to defend the church's traditional values.

Christian churches “are walking side by side” in the battle against threats posed by abortion and gay marriage, the pontiff said.

“They speak up jointly for the protection of human life from conception to natural death,” he said during the meeting. “Knowing, too, the value of family and marriage, we as Christians attach great importance to defending the integrity and the uniqueness of marriage between one man and one woman from any kind of misinterpretation.”

At a rally held at a fairground, more than 30,000 young people turned out to hear the pope speak.

He urged them not be “lukewarm Christians.”

Twenty-six-year-old Kathrin Doerr told Reuters: “The church is shown very negatively in the media these days so it is important for us young people to see we can also be proud of the church, and the church itself is not bad even if some have let it down.”

While an estimated 9,000 people in Berlin protested the Vatican's views on homosexuality, the pope's Freiburg visit remained largely free from opposition.

Last year, Pope Benedict said marriages between members of the same sex lead to confusion of society's values.