Welcoming the new year, Pope Francis says it's time to end indifference and what he calls "false neutrality" regarding the injustice, persecution, wars and misery in the world.

Francis, celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Basilica Friday, says people wonder how it's possible that "the arrogance of the powerful continues to demean the weak, relegating them to the most squalid outskirts of our world." He highlights the men, women and children risking their lives to flee war, hunger and persecution.

He is urging people to overcome indifference and "leave behind the false neutrality which prevents sharing."

Francis' formula for peace centers on cooperating to build "an ever more just and fraternal world."

He wondered aloud how long human evil will keep sowing violence and hatred.