Pope Benedict XVI has condemned "unregulated capitalism" for contributing to world tension, in a new year address to worshippers.
The Pope also thanked the world's peacemakers and said humanity had "an innate vocation for peace".
The Roman Catholic Church leader spoke at a Mass in the Vatican, then greeted a crowd outside St Peter's Basilica.
He deplored "hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor".
Those "hotbeds" also grew out of "the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism", as well as "various forms of terrorism and crime", he said.
The 85-year-old pontiff delivered a prayer for peace to the crowd in St Peter's Square after his homily at Mass.
"The peacemakers are many, but they are not loud. As leaven in dough, they raise humanity according to God's plan," he said.
Comparing the new year to a journey, he prayed that it "may lead on a path to peace for every person and every family, for each country and for the whole world".