Pope Francis says 2017 marked by death, “lies and injustices”

Pope Francis is pictured during vespers on New Year's Eve in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 31. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) Pope Francis is pictured during vespers on New Year's Eve in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 31. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Bidding farewell to 2017, Pope Francis on Sunday decried wars, injustices, social and environmental degradation and other man-made ills which he said spoiled the year.

Francis presided at a New Year’s Eve prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica, a traditional occasion to say thanks in each year’s last hours.


In his homily, the pope said God gave to us a “whole and sound” year, but “we humans in so many ways ruined and hurt it with works of death, with lies and injustices.”

The pope said God gave to us a “whole and sound” year, but “we humans in so many ways ruined and hurt it.”

“The wars are the flagrant sign of this repeated and absurd pride,” he said. “But so are all the little and big offenses against life, truth, brotherhood, that cause multiple forms of human, social and environmental degradation.”

Francis added: “We want to, and must assume, before God, our brothers and Creation our responsibility” for the harm.

Despite the gloom, Francis said “gratitude prevails” thanks to those who “cooperate silently for the common good.” He singled out parents and educators who try to raise young people with a sense of responsible ethics.

After the solemn service, Francis strolled outside, briskly crisscrossing St. Peter’s

Square to shake hands and banter with well-wishers, and kiss babies held by some of the thousands of faithful who waited for hours for a glimpse of him. The evening was warm, and Francis went without the white coat an aide carried for him. During his nearly hour-long walkabout outdoors, he stopped to admire a life-sized Nativity scene in the middle of the square.

In keeping with past practice, the pope will celebrate Mass dedicated to the theme of world peace on New Year’s Day.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Tim Donovan
3 months 3 weeks ago

I agree with Pope Francis that war is wrong, except. in extraordinary circumstances; no civilians may be targeted, and diplomatic efforts must be exhausted before conflicts may begin. I also support the Catholic Climate Covenant, in order to help protect our environment without the justification of abortion. Being gay and not having children (which would mean so much to me) I do have 3 nieces and 1 nephew who I cared for when they were children (they're now adults). I believe that parents are the primary educators of their children, but as a retired Special Education teacher who often made mistakes, I did see my brain damaged students as my children. Finally, I agree with the Pope about fighting injustice by prayer and action. I have had sex with men, but have gone to the Sacrament of Reconciliation with compassionate priests to receive forgiveness. Let's hope that more Catholics go to confession, as Jesus wants us to be free from sin.

J Cosgrove
3 months 2 weeks ago

What are the lies? Before doing something about any wrong, the wrong has to be described.

Dionys Murphy
3 months 2 weeks ago

Just follow Trump's twitter feed for lies at the highest level of government pushing us towards war and away from caring from the planet that helps sustain humanity.

J Cosgrove
3 months 2 weeks ago

That is a real coup for Trump. The Pope follows his tweets.

Dionys Murphy
3 months 2 weeks ago

It's always good to see how the Adversary is influencing the world.


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The appointments are part of an ongoing effort to give a greater role to women in the work of the Roman Curia offices, the central administration of the Catholic church.
Gerard O’ConnellApril 21, 2018
Ivette Escobar, a student at Central American University in San Salvador, helps finish a rug in honor of the victims in the 1989 murder of six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter on the UCA campus, part of the 25th anniversary commemoration of the Jesuit martyrs in 2014. (CNS photo/Edgardo Ayala) 
A human rights attorney in the United States believes that the upcoming canonization of Blessed Oscar Romero in October has been a factor in a decision to revisit the 1989 Jesuit massacre at the University of Central America.
Kevin ClarkeApril 20, 2018
Journalists photograph the lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in California in 2010. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
In California, Catholic opponents of the death penalty are trying to protect the largest population of inmates awaiting execution in the Western Hemisphere.
Jim McDermottApril 20, 2018
Photo: the Hank Center at Loyola University Chicago
Bishop McElroy said that Catholics must embrace “the virtues of solidarity, compassion, integrity, hope and peace-building.”