Pope Benedict XVI waves to faithfull at the end of the solemnity of Mary the Mother of God mass and the celebration of the 46th World Day of Peace on January 1, 2013 at the Vatican Basilica. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
A message for 2013 from the Vatican has left many scratching their heads. According to Reuters, Pope Benedict XVI spent part of his New Year's address talking politics-- even comparing "unregulated capitalism" to "various forms of terrorism and criminality."
Earlier in his homily, the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics decried "hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor".
He also denounced "the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression [in] unregulated capitalism, various forms of terrorism and criminality".
In his full message for the peace day, the pope called for a new economic model and ethical regulations for markets, saying the global financial crisis was proof that capitalism does not protect society's weakest members.
He also warned that food insecurity was a threat to peace in some parts of the world and strongly reaffirmed the Church's opposition to gay marriage. [Emphasis added]
The reaction on Twitter has varied:
Despite it all, though, the pope expressed optimism that peace will prevail in 2013.