Pope warns of 'dark shadows' on humanity's future

Pope Benedict XVI said divisions and conflicts "cast dark shadows" on the future of humanity, warning of the danger coming from more countries possessing nuclear weapons. He urged authorities to step up negotiations for a "progressive and mutually agreed dismantling of existing nuclear weapons." "Humanity today is unfortunately experiencing great division and sharp conflicts which cast dark shadows on its future," Benedict said in his annual message to world leaders for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Peace on Jan. 1. He said "the danger of an increase in the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons causes well-founded apprehension in every responsible person."