Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, says that in troubled times all people are "called to build relationships of solidarity and cooperation among themselves, as befits members of the one human family."
His injunction was released as a message for the 41st World Day of Peace yesterday, 1 January 2008.
The pontiff goes on to affirm the family as "the first and indispensable teacher of peace". His message relates family life to the economy, the environment and humanity as a whole.
Pope Benedict also refers to the need for "effective demilitarization" especially in relation to nuclear arms and weapons of mass destruction, which are possessed in large numbers by the United States and other major industrial nations.
At the heart of the message is a call for spiritual renewal: "[I]t is essential that we should all be committed to living our lives in an attitude of responsibility before God, acknowledging him as the deepest source of our own existence and that of others.
"By going back to this supreme principle we are able to perceive the unconditional worth of each human being, and thus to lay the premises for building a humanity at peace. Without this transcendent foundation society is a mere aggregation of neighbours, not a community of brothers and sisters called to form one great family."
The full text of the Papal message can be found here.