VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI lamented Monday what he called the "trivialization" of sexuality and the lack of faith among young people, saying in a New Year's Eve message that he wanted 2008 to bring hope to all.
Benedict celebrated an evening vespers' service in St. Peter's Basilica hours before the New Year, giving thanks to God for the past year and praying that 2008 will bring a "better future."
Benedict directed many of his comments to the city of Rome, saying poverty and other problems were weighing on families here and elsewhere, making many lose faith.
"Not a few people — especially the young — are attracted to a false exaltation, or rather, a profanation of the body and the trivialization of sexuality," Benedict said. "In other words, even in Rome one feels this deficit of hope and faith in life that constitutes the dark evil of modern Western society."
Benedict also said there were "lights and reasons for hope" — such as Rome's 28 new candidates for the priesthood.
"Let us ask the Lord that he make in each one of us an authentic excitement of hope ... so that we can build a better future for the entire city," he said.
Benedict on Tuesday is to celebrate a midmorning Mass at St. Peter's to ring in the New Year. The Catholic Church celebrates Jan. 1 as its World Day of Peace.
ok, let me get this straight...a guy whos "supposed" to be celibate is giving sex advice...hmmmm seems a little fishy to me. stick to things you know like putting jews in the oven and stay away from things you arent supposed to know about (but having been a priest he may no something about it after all).