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Pope Francis Urges Social 'Fraternity' After Economic Crisis

Roman Catholic Pope Francis delivers a speech during on St Peter's square at the Vatican in September.
Pope Francis has called for more solidarity and equality around the world following a period of economic crisis.

In his message for the Catholic Church's World Peace Day, marked on January 1, the pontiff said, "The succession of economic crises should lead to a timely rethinking of our models of economic development and to a change in lifestyles."

Francis, who on December 11 was declared Person of the Year by "Time" magazine, also reiterated his critique of financial speculators, saying they were often "both predatory and harmful for entire economic and social systems, exposing millions of men and women to poverty."

Meanwhile, the Council of Europe said in a report on December 12 that the Vatican has done "much work" to toughen up its laws and practices against money laundering but now needs to apply them rigorously.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa