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The Family, Resource of the Future

· The Pope concludes his papal visit to Croatia inviting Christians to commit to a culture of life and a society worthy of man ·

The family is, “a decisive resource,” not only for, “regenerating the Church anew,” but also for, “giving life to the social fabric of the nation.” From Zagreb, on Sunday June 5th, the Pope launched a message of hope and “faith in the future,” at the conclusion of his papal visit to Croatia. He entrusted Christian families with the work of showing to the world that it is possible, “to love without reserve” and to, “make a commitment to another person,” through a choice of, “openness to life,” which is also a sign of, “openness to the future.”

It is, “the hour of the family,” the Pope said, recalling the words of Blessed John Paul II, to the thousands of faithful gathered on Sunday morning near the Hippodrome of the capital for Mass. “An authentic family, founded on marriage, is in itself ‘good news’ for the world,” he said. “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.”

The Pontiff expressed his concern about 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 asked for a change in mentality beginning with the conviction that, “respect for the natural moral law frees people, rather than demeaning them!” An idea which the Pope reiterated during afternoon Vespers in the Cathedral, where he paid homage to Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, saying that, “The Church’s moral teaching, often misunderstood today, cannot be detached from the Gospel,” and called for a, “ ‘cultural shift’ necessary for promoting a culture of life and a society worthy of man.”

On Saturday afternoon the Pope spoke of a “free and just society,” to the representatives of the Croatian civil society, indicating that conscience is, “the keystone on which to base a culture and build up the common good.” If conscience is “rediscovered as the place in which to listen to truth and good, the place of responsibility before God and before fellow human beings – in other words, the bulwark against all forms of tyranny – then there is hope for the future.”

At the prayer vigil with Croatian youth, following his meeting with civil representatives, the Pope once again spoke of the future, “Do not yield to the temptation of putting all your trust in possessions, in material things, while abandoning the search for the truth which is always “greater”, which guides us like a star high in the heavens to where Christ would lead us. Let it guide you to the very heights of God!”

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