In Pope Francis' New Year's homily Friday, he highlighted the need to "let ourselves be reborn, to overcome the indifference which blocks solidarity, and to leave behind the false neutrality which prevents sharing." He recommended cooperation as the way to build an "ever more just and fraternal world, a world in which every person and every creature can dwell in peace," reports Fox News.
After celebrating Mass, the pope went to the Vatican palazzo window that overlooks St. Peter's Square to offer new year's wishes to a large crowd of tourists and Romans, reports Associated Press.
"At the start of the year, it's lovely to exchange wishes. Let's renew, to one another, the desire that that which awaits us is a little better" than what last year brought, Francis said.
"It is, after all, a sign of the hope that animates us and invites us all to believe in life. We know, however, that with the new year, everything won't change and that many of yesterday's problems will also remain tomorrow," the pope said, adding that he was making a "wish sustained by a real hope."
Many fans of the 79-year old religious leader, such as Sabina Pattinson, express they believe the world is "blessed to have Pope Francis."
He cautioned that "the enemy of peace isn't only war, but also indifference." He asked people to reject "barriers, suspicions, fears and closures" toward others.
He also reflected on the "countless forms of injustice and violence which daily wound our human family."
"Sometimes we ask ourselves how it is possible that human injustice persists unabated, and that the arrogance of the powerful continues to demean the weak, relegating them to the most squalid outskirts of our world."
He continued: "We ask how long human evil will continue to sow violence and hatred in our world, reaping innocent victims."
He then spoke of "witnessing hordes of men, women and children fleeing war, hunger and persecution, ready to risk their lives simply to encounter respect for their fundamental rights."
The Catholic church dedicates New Year's Day to the theme of peace, and Francis stresses mercy during 2016 as the path toward reconciliation. In fact, he declared a Holy Year of Mercy, which began in December and runs through November 2016.
Some people, such as Cesar Alba, have begun sharing on social media that they believe Francis is "a candidate for a sainthood."