Pope Paul today - New Year's Day - denounced the spread of crime throughout the world as a stain on the honour of mankind.
Pope Paul today - New Year's Day - denounced the spread of crime throughout the world as a stain on the honour of mankind. The Pope was speaking at a Mass for peace to celebrate the beginning of a new year in the Christian calender - traditionally marked by the Catholic community as a day of peace.
From the pulpit of St. Peter's basilica, he made reference to the ware of kidnappings which recently swept through Italy and also alluded directly to the Mafia and what he called its "secret and pitiless laws".
For the future, the Pope said it was difficult to remain optimistic about the chances of world peace. True peace was to be found only in men's hearts, he said, and not in treaties and armistices.
"To have a true peace", he ended, "we must give it a soul. The soul of peace is love."
Thousands of pilgrims packed into St. Peter's to hear the New Year message, which also marks the first day of the church's current 1975 Holy Year.