"We need a greater hope"
The Associated Press
VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday criticized a world with luxury for a few and poverty for many and called for moderate lifestyles to ensure fair distribution of wealth amid a scramble for natural resources.
"One cannot say that globalization is synonymous with world order — it's the opposite," Benedict said in his homily in St. Peter's Basilica to mark the Catholic feast day of the Epiphany.
"The conflicts for economic supremacy, and the scramble for energy and water resources and raw materials render difficult the work of all those who strive to construct a more just and united world," Benedict said.
"We need a greater hope, which allows us to prefer the common good of all to the luxury of few and the poverty of many," the pontiff said.
"If true hope is lacking, you search for happiness in intoxication, in the superfluous, in excess, and you ruin yourself and the world," he said. "Moderation is not only an ascetic rule, but also a way of salvation for humanity."
"By now it is obvious that only by adopting a sober lifestyle, accompanied by a serious commitment to a fair distribution of wealth, will it be possible to install a just and sustainable model of development," Benedict said.
On the Epiphany, the Church marks the visit of the Three Magi, or Wise Men, to the baby Jesus in
"We all need this courage, anchored to solid hope," the pope said.
Benedict's remarks reflected the 80-year-old German pontiff's worry for the environment, a developing theme of his papacy.
"Until a little while ago, environmental issues seemed the concern of the rich rather than of the poor, of developed countries rather than of more backward ones for which economic development was instead the priority," Lombardi said.
"Now, frequent disasters due to environmental imbalances hit hard those who have few resources to defend themselves," the spokesman said. "Today, humanity fears for its future ecological balance, and to this observation, the pope links a strong moral call to solidarity," Lombardi said.