.- The Vatican announced a unique, upcoming conference today, which will look at the role of the Christian mission in the field of sports.
Organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the first international seminar on sport is scheduled to be held in Rome from November 11th through the 12th.
Some 50 experts from 18 different countries will gather for the seminar, themed: "the Christian mission in the field of sport today." They will include, scholars, directors of Catholic sporting associations, representatives from national bishops' conferences and professional athletes.
The Vatican said that the seminar will include analysis on the global phenomenon of sport, along with its cultural, anthropological, educational and ethical repercussions for society.
Participants will also consider various ways in which the Catholic Church can realize her pastoral mission of evangelization--particularly among the young--through sports.
In 2004, Pope John Paul II established the group, âChurch and Sportâ as part of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. They will present the groupâs current findings and future goals at next weekâs meeting.
One of the purposes of the seminar, the Vatican said, is to gather experts in the sporting fields as well as Church leaders to collaborate in âChurch and Sportâsâ future endeavors.
Recently, Pope Benedict called sports, a âdiscipline which, if practiced in respect for the rules, becomes an educational instrument and a vehicle for important human and spiritual values.â