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