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Pope: Globalization Should Not Ignore Spiritual Side


Thousands of families were in Saint Peter's Square Saturday to receive the pope's blessing on the feast day of the Epiphany. At a morning mass the pope said that religious leaders must stress the spiritual aspect of the globalization debate. Sabina Castelfranco reports from Rome.

POPE: "The celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord invites us to contemplate Jesus as the divine Savior, the light that guides us on our journey to eternity."

Thousands of families packed Saint Peter's Square to hear the pope's words. In Christian tradition, the Epiphany marks the day three wise men guided by a star pay homage to the Baby Jesus.

Earlier, the pope celebrated mass in Saint Peter's Basilica. In his homily, Benedict said the past decades have seen a "challenge to global civilization, where the center can no longer be Europe and not even that which we call the West or the North of the world."

He added that there is a need to elaborate a new world political and economic order, but, above all, a spiritual and cultural one, a renewed humanism.

Pope Benedict said that now, at the start of the Third Millennium, the world is in the middle of a phase of human history described as globalization. He said that while politicians, scientists and researchers play important roles in the modern world, it is also necessary that the leaders of the great non-Christian and Christian religions are at their side.

Pope Benedict will celebrate another mass on Sunday in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. During that ceremony, as is tradition, he will baptize a number of children.