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Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful during the weekly general audience in St. Peter's sqaure at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict says he believes peace can prevail in 2013, despite the problems 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 window overlooking St. Peter's Square to wish pilgrims a blessed year with the help of the Virgin Mary.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)