Loading
May the World Cup be a 'feast of solidarity,' Pope exhorts
Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square for the Italian Sporting Center's celebration of sports June 7, 2014. Credit Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.
Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square for the Italian Sporting Center's celebration of sports June 7, 2014. Credit Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

.- In a video message Pope Francis sent for the start of the World Cup, he outlined the importance of good sportsmanship, stating that this attitude helps in building a more peaceful society.

“My hope is that, in addition to the feast of sports, this World Cup becomes the feast of solidarity between peoples,” the Roman Pontiff stated in his June 12 video message.

Aired on Brazilian television stations, the Pope’s address was read in Portuguese to honor of the country where the games are taking place, beginning today with a match between Brazil and Croatia, and concluding with the final game July 13.

Beginning his address, the Pope greeted “with great joy” all “lovers of soccer” and offered a warm salutation to the organizers of the event, as well as all those who will both participate in and watch the games, either in person or elsewhere.

Expressing his hope that the event will be a “feast of solidarity between peoples,” the pontiff explained that in order for this to happen, “the soccer competitions must be considered for what they are based on.”

“A game and at the same time an opportunity for dialogue, understanding and reciprocal human enrichment.”

This sport, he said, “is not only a form of entertainment, but also – and above all I would say – a tool to communicate values, promote the good of the human person and help build a more peaceful and fraternal society.”

Observing how there are “many values and attitudes fostered by soccer that are important not only on the field, but in all aspects of life, specifically in peace building,” Pope Francis invited listeners to think about the values of “loyalty, perseverance, friendship, sharing, solidarity.”

“Sport is a school of peace,” he noted, “it teaches us to build peace.”

Going on, the Bishop of Rome drew attention to the different lessons we learn in sports that can help to foster peace, stating that “three essential attitudes” are “the need to ‘train,’ ‘fair play’ and honor among competitors.”

“Sport teaches us that in order to win, you have to train,” he stated, pointing out that “by playing sports, we can see a metaphor of our lives.”

“In life, you have to fight, to ‘train,’ to strive in order to obtain important results,” therefore sportsmanship “becomes an image of the necessary sacrifices in order to grow in the virtues that build the character of a person.”

Bringing attention to the importance playing fair, the Roman Pontiff explained that in sports we need to learn “what ‘fair play’ in soccer has to teach us.”

“To play in a team, it is necessary to consider first the good of the group, not on one’s self,” the Pope observed, stating that “In order to win, it is necessary to overcome individualism, selfishness and all forms of racism, intolerance and instrumentalization of the human person.”

“It isn’t only in soccer that being ‘greedy’ is an obstacle to the success of the team,” he noted, “because when we are ‘greedy’ in life, ignoring the people around us, the whole society is harmed.”

A final element of sports that helps us to foster peace “is to have honor among competitors,” the pontiff said, adding that “The secret of victory in the field, but also in life, is to learn to respect the colleagues of your team, but also your opponent.”

“No one wins alone, neither in the field nor in life! Let no one feel excluded or isolated!”

Concluding his message, Pope Francis prayed that the World Cup 2014 will “take place with complete serenity and tranquility, always with mutual respect, solidarity and brotherhood among men and women who recognize themselves as members of the same family.”

Tags: Pope Francis, Soccer, World Cup


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Jul
31

Liturgical Calendar

July 31, 2014

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Gospel
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 18: 1-6
Gospel:: Mt 13: 47-53

Saint of the Day

St. Ignatius of Loyola »

Saint
Date
07/28/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: