CNS PHOTO | GIAMPIERO SPOSITO, REUTERS
Pope Benedict blesses the crowd after celebrating Mass at an open-air stadium in Serravalle, San Marino, June 19.
Hedonism clouds people's judgment and risks annihilating morality, Pope Benedict said.
It also fools people into thinking their real worth lies in their social or personal standing and their ability to control reality, he said during a one-day visit June 19 to the Republic of San Marino, a tiny nation completely surrounded by Italy.
The difficulties facing Western nations today are caused most of all by "hedonistic models that cloud the mind and risk quashing morality altogether," he told some 22,000 people in attendance.
"The temptation has crept in that says man's richness is not faith, but his personal and social power, his intelligence, his culture and his ability to scientifically, technologically and socially manipulate reality," he said.