Concerning terrorism, Benedict offers a unique analysis on the phenomenon saying that its roots lie in nihilism and in fanatical fundamentalism, which "have an entirely erroneous approach both to truth and to the truth of peace."
Nihilism and fundamentalism, he wrote, "both show a dangerous contempt for human beings and human life, and ultimately for God Himself. ... In analyzing the causes of the contemporary phenomenon of terrorism, consideration should be given, not only to its political and social causes, but also to its deeper cultural, religious and ideological motivations.”
Despite the sometimes grim world situation, the Pope does note “certain signs of hope in the work of building peace.”
“I think,” he says, “for example, of the decrease in the number of armed conflicts... These are reassuring signs which need to be confirmed and consolidated by tireless cooperation and activity, above all on the part of the international community and its agencies charged with preventing conflicts and providing a peaceful solution to those in course.”
He warns however, that "All this must not, however, lead to a naive optimism. It must not be forgotten that, tragically, violent fratricidal conflicts and devastating wars still continue to sow tears and death in vast parts of the world."
The Pope also lambasted those world leaders who “count on nuclear arms as a means of ensuring the security of their countries.”
“Along with countless persons of good will,” he said, “one can state that this point of view is not only baneful but also completely fallacious. In a nuclear war there would be no victors, only victims.”
He added that “The truth of peace requires that all - whether those governments which openly or secretly possess nuclear arms, or those planning to acquire them - agree to change their course by clear and firm decisions, and strive for a progressive and concerted nuclear disarmament.”
Pope Benedict closed his message calling for every community to “undertake an extensive process of education and witness aimed at making everyone more aware of the need for a fuller appreciation of the truth of peace.”
“At the same” he said, “time I ask for an increase of prayers, since peace is above all a gift of God, a gift to be implored incessantly.”