Pope prays for gift of peace at New Year mass
VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI prayed for the "gift of peace" this year, condemning the inequality between rich and poor and "unregulated financial capitalism" at a New Year's mass in St Peter's Basilica on Tuesday, January 1.
The pope spoke of "hotbeds of tension and confrontation caused by the growing inequality between rich and poor and the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mentality also expressed by unregulated financial capitalism."
But he also said that humanity had "an innate vocation for peace" and quoted from the Biblical passage: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God."
Peacemakers "are like the yeast in the dough -- they allow humanity to grow according to God's design," he said.
The Roman Catholic Church celebrates New Year's Day as World Peace Day.
The pope later addressed a crowd in St Peter's Square with his traditional Angelus prayer and invoked the blessing of the Virgin Mary "like a mother blesses her children who are about to set off on a voyage."
"A new year is like a voyage. With the light and grace of God, may it be a voyage of peace for every person and every family, for every country and for the whole world," he said. – Rappler.com