Pope Benedict gave animpromptu talk at the special synod on the Middle East. A synod is basically a meeting of regional bishops and other experts, typically to discuss particular issues and their local effects.

Benedict started with a very deep theological treatment of the nature of Jesus as the second person of the trinity and went on to describe Mary’s role as the mother of God. And then he applied it to several of the major issues affecting our world: financial markets, drugs, terrorism, so-called religious wars, and even climate issues. I’ve excerpted part of his discussion on these practical matters, but the whole discourse is certainly worth a read:

We think of the great powers of today’s history, we think of the anonymous capitals that enslave man, that are no longer something belonging to man, but are an anonymous power that men serve, and by which men are tormented and even slaughtered. They are a destructive power that threatens the world. And then the power of the terrorist ideologies. Violence is done apparently in the name of God, but this is not God: these are false divinities that must be unmasked, that are not God. And then drugs, this power that, like a ravenous beast, stretches its hands over all parts of the earth and destroys: it is a divinity, but a false divinity, which must fall. Or even the way of life promoted by public opinion: today it’s done this way, marriage doesn’t matter anymore, chastity is no longer a virtue, and so on.

… .

And there is also a final expression in Psalm 81, “Movebuntur omnia fundamenta terrae” (Psalm 82 [81]:5), the foundations of the earth are shaken. We see this today, with the climatic problems, how the foundations of the earth are threatened, but they are threatened by our behavior. The outer foundations are shaken because the inner foundations are shaken, the moral and religious foundations, the faith that leads to the right way of life. And we know that the faith is the foundation, and, without a doubt, the foundations of the earth cannot be shaken if the faith, the true wisdom, stands firm.