Pope Benedict XVI on Monday celebrated New Year's Eve vespers in St Peter's Basilica. He called on believers to take time out from their daily lives to reflect and voicing solidarity with the poor.
"We have to know how to stop and think. This way our soul can find healing for the inevitable wounds of everyday life," he said in his homily.
At a time of social crisis due to shrinking budgets and increased taxes, the pope also said he supported "those who live in poverty or are marginalised, as well as families in difficulty".
Reprising a frequent theme, the pope concluded by condemning "lifestyles distinguished by their individualism and ethical relativism".
Society "appears often indifferent to God," he said.