VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI said Tuesday he is convinced that peace will prevail in 2013, despite the inequality, terrorism and “unregulated financial capitalism” that afflict the world today.
Benedict celebrated a New Year's Day Mass in St. Peter's Basilica to mark the church's world day of peace. His target audience was in the front pews: diplomats accredited to the Holy See, who next week will attend the pope's annual address about the plight of the world's poor and its war-torn regions.
In his homily, Benedict said that despite today's terrorism, criminality and the inequality between rich and poor, he is convinced the “numerous works of peace, of which the world is rich, are testimony to the innate vocation of humanity to peace.”
He cited “unregulated financial capitalism” as evidence of an “egotistical and individualistic mentality” that is rife in the world.
Later, Benedict appeared at his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square to wish the crowds below a Happy New Year.
Nearby, a man scaled the scaffolding along the colonnade surrounding the square and draped a banner calling on Benedict to “Stop Terrorism.” After a few hours of police negotiations, he came down and was escorted away.
The protest didn't appear to cause the pope any disturbance.