Pope Benedict XVI marked the end of a difficult year Monday by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails.
Benedict celebrated New Year's Eve with a vespers service in St.
Peter's Basilica to give thanks for 2012 and look ahead to 2013.
appeared tired during the service and used a cane afterward – an
indication that the busy Christmas season may be taking a toll on the
In his homily, Benedict said it's tough to remember that
goodness prevails when bad news – death, violence and injustice – "makes
more noise than good."
He said taking time to meditate in prolonged
reflection and prayer can help "find healing from the inevitable wounds
of daily life."
This past year was full of highs and lows for the pope, including a
successful trip to Mexico and Cuba but also the betrayal of his butler,
convicted in October of stealing Benedict's personal papers and leaking
them to a journalist.
After the service, Benedict was brought out in a covered car to pray
before the Vatican's main nativity scene in St. Peter's Square.
with a cane in the chilly piazza, Benedict chatted animatedly with the
artist who crafted the scene, which recreated an entire village from the
poor, southern Italian region of Basilicata which donated this year's
The Vatican gladly accepted Basilicata's donation after the
(EURO)550,000 price tag the Vatican paid for the 2009 nativity scene was
revealed in the documentation leaked by Benedict's ex-butler Paolo
Gabriele was convicted of aggravated theft by a Vatican tribunal and
sentenced to 18 months in prison.
He received a pre-Christmas papal
pardon and is expected to soon leave his Vatican City apartment for a
new home and job elsewhere.
On Tuesday morning, Benedict celebrated a New Year's Day Mass, which the Catholic Church celebrates as its world day of peace.