Pope Benedict XVI began his four day visit to Spain on Thursday by denouncing the principle of “profits before people”.
The 84 year old pontiff was welcomed in Madrid by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia on Thursday as part of the festivities to mark the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day.
In a speech to thousands of pilgrims gathered in Cibeles square, the Pope attacked profiteering.
He said that economies “cannot be measured by maximum profit but by the common good”.
Hedonism and mass consumerism also came in for criticism.
Later the Pope received the keys to the city from Madrid’s Mayor. Thousands of people then watched as the pontiff made a symbolic entry to the city on foot through the 18th-century Alcala gate.
After what must have been an exhausting day for most 84 year olds, Pope Benedict XVI retired to the Apostolic Nunciature or Vatican Embassy in Madrid for the night.
On Friday, the Pope is due to meet young nuns and 1,000 young college professors at a royal palace and monastery just outside Madrid.