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Pope Benedict XVI urges world markets to have a heart

   Plaza-de-Cibeles-World-Youth-Day-Madrid
Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, traveled to Spain on Thursday for World Youth Day, a Roman Catholic festival for young people celebrated internationally every three years in various locations around the world.

This year, it's in Madrid, and hundreds of thousands of pilgrims -- organizers expected up to 1 million attendees, from more than 190 nations -- crowded the normally empty....

...August streets (perhaps pumping a bit of extra cash into the local economy) to see the pontiff ride in his bulletproof "popemobile" on the way to a welcome gathering in Plaza de Cibeles.

As usually happens for World Youth Day, there were protests, some addressing the cost of the event to economically troubled Spain, where nearly 50% of its young people cannot find work.

Pope-Alitalia-World-Youth-Day-Madrid In speaking to journalists aboard a flight to Madrid, Benedict addressed the dire economic situation in Spain, Europe and the world, not suggesting political solutions but instead urging those running businesses to consult their consciences as often as their balance sheets.

The AP reported him saying, "Man must be at the center of the economy, and the economy cannot be measured only by the maximization of profit but by rather according to the common good."

He also remarked, according to the AP, "The economy cannot function only with mercantile self-regulation but needs an ethical reason in order to work for man."

Upon arriving at Madrid's Barajas Airport, the pope expressed solidarity with young people seeking jobs, saying, "Many young people look worriedly to the future, as they search for work, or because they have lost their job or because the one they have is precarious or uncertain."

But in his homily in a gathering Thursday evening in Plaza de Cibeles, the pope urged young people to look within to make their lives "solid and stable" by drawing on faith and resisting the "fashionable ideas" of the day.

He warned, "Indeed, there are many who, creating their own gods, believe they need no roots or foundations other than themselves. They take it upon themselves to decide what is true or not, what is good and evil, what is just and unjust; who should live and who can be sacrificed in the interests of other preferences; leaving each step to chance, with no clear path, letting themselves be led by the whim of each moment. These temptations are always lying in wait."

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-- Kate O'Hare

Media critic Kate O’Hare is a regular Ticket contributor. She also blogs about TV at Hot Cuppa TV and is a frequent contributor at entertainment news site Zap2it. Also follow O'Hare on Twitter @KateOH.

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Top photo: World Youth Day gathering in Plaza de Cibeles in Madrid. Credit: Daniel Ochoa del Olza / Associated Press Bottom photo: Pope Benedict XVI talks to reporters aboard flight. Vincenzo Pinto / AFP
 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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