Rome: Pope Benedict XVI called for solidarity between all people in need in his annual New Year`s message on Friday.
Modern times are filled with all manner of suffering and drama, some provoked by human evil, other by nature, said the pope. But God`s message of joy and freedom would also reach all people suffering between the holidays, he added.
As it is done every year, the Te Deum was sung during the service, as thanks for the year that has just ended.
The pope is also expected to give his traditional New Year`s mass at 10 am (0900 GMT) Saturday. New Year`s Day is the church`s traditional World Day of Peace.