Pope Benedict offers hopes for peace to worshippers this year.
Some 10,000 people began the New Year with mass at Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
Despite terrorism, conflict and selfishness, the pope said he believes humanity yearns for peace.
"I am convinced that the many works of peace, which are abundant in the world, testify to the deep sense of humanity for peace," he said.
The pope also thanked the world's peacemakers and praised them for their tireless work.
The Roman Catholic Church marks January 1st as World Day of Peace with initiatives around the globe.
Pope gives message of peace for New Year (0:47)
Jan 1 - Pope Benedict says humanity has an innate desire for peace during his New Year's Day mass at the Vatican. Lindsey Parietti reports. ( Transcript )