Pope Francis on Sports

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With Pope Francis visiting the USA this week, we thought that it would be opportune to share some of his thoughts on sports.

Please share this with all of your coaches, athletes and parents.

Pope Francis knows that sports, done properly, can bring our families, schools, communities ... world ... closer together in peace, respect and harmony.

God bless you!

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd 
SportsLeader

 
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Every sport has its worth -- not just in physical and social benefits, but also morally in the ways it can offer people, especially kids, a chance to experience a more balanced life, "self-control, sacrifice and loyalty toward others," Pope Francis said, especially today when it seems "betrayal" is on the rise.

The Bible teaches that the human person is both body and soul, he said.

"Sometimes it happens that a boy or girl forgets about Mass, catechism because of work-outs and competition. This is not a good sign" because it means they do not have their priorities right, he said.

"Studying, friends, serving the poor" also are important and should not be "neglected in order to do just one thing. No. Everything together," he said.

Sports done right helps build a more caring, brotherly and just world that helps overcome "human and social disadvantage," the Pope said.

 
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On another occasion the Pope met with a large group of athletes, coaches, team owners and family members during an audience ...

“Sport is an educational path”, said the Holy Father. “There are three fundamental pillars for children and young people”, he added: “Education – in school and in the family – sport, and work. When we have all three of these, then there exist the conditions for developing a full and authentic life, thus avoiding those dependencies that poison and ruin existence”.

“The Church is interested in sport because she has man, the full man, at heart, and recognises that sporting activity has an impact on the formation of the person, on relationships, and on spirituality. You athletes have a mission to accomplish: to be, for those who admire you, valid role models. And you too, directors, trainers and sports workers, are called upon to give good witness to human values, as masters of a sporting practice that is always fair and clear”.

The Pope commented that sports are very competitive, but “the pressure to achieve significant results must never drive you to take short cuts such as in the case of doping. How ugly and sterile a victory is if it is obtained by cheating and deceiving others”.

“The apostle Paul uses the example of the athlete to illustrate an important characteristic of human existence”, said the bishop of Rome. “'Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it'. In a certain sense, this is your daily experience in tennis. But St. Paul refers to the challenge of giving an ultimate meaning to life itself. I would therefore exhort each one of you to play the game not only in sport – as you already do, and with excellent results – but also in life, in the search for goodness, true goodness, without fear, with courage and enthusiasm. Play the game with others and with God, giving the best of yourself, spending your life for what is truly valuable and which stands the test of time. Put your talents to the service of the encounter between people, friendship, and inclusion”.

 
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