Huffpost Religion

Pope Laments Greedy Economy at World Youth Day

Posted: Updated:
POPE AT WORLD YOUTH DAY
Pope Benedict XVI waves from his Popemobile as he enters the city of Madrid Thursday Aug. 18, 201. Pope Benedict XVI is visiting Madrid between Aug. 18- 21. (AP Photo/Paul White) | AP

By Francis X. Rocca
Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI lamented the "superficiality, consumerism and hedonism" of contemporary society on Thursday (Aug. 18), while offering a message of Christian hope to young Catholic pilgrims gathered in Madrid.

Benedict made his remarks upon landing at the Madrid airport for the start of a four-day visit, during which he will take part in Catholic World Youth Day (WYD) celebrations that are expected to draw some 500,000 young people.

The pope said WYD participants have seen the need for divine help in facing challenges such as a "widespread banalization of sexuality," corruption, drug use, environmental pollution and the persecution of Christians.

Arriving in a country with an unemployment rate of more than 20 percent, the pope also acknowledged economic concerns, noting that "many young people look worriedly to the future, as they search for work, or because they have lost their job or because the one they have is precarious or uncertain."

Earlier the same morning, speaking to reporters on his plane from Rome, Benedict said ethics must play a greater role in economic policy, which must be measured not only "by the maximization of profit but according to the common good."

On Wednesday night, thousands in Madrid protested the pope's visit, citing what they said was its excessive cost to the Spanish public. Police arrested eight and reported 11 injured in related clashes.

WATCH POPE BENEDICT XVI ARRIVE IN MADRID

Around the Web

WYD 2011 Madrid - Official Site

World Youth Day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

† † † World Youth Day † † †

World Youth Day

World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain

World Youth Day 2011: Catholics From Around The World Gather In ...

World Youth Day - Church/Religious Organization - Madrid | Facebook

World Youth Day 2011 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pope in Spain for World Youth Day

Chaput at World Youth Day

Bishop Noonan, World Youth Day, and condoms

World Youth Day: Many Little Unforgettable Moments

Cardinal to Youth in Madrid: WYD Is Decisive for Your Future