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Pope says sport benefits everyone

Pope Francis holds a soccer ball in St Peter’s Square during the Wednesday general audience on 26 Aug 2015. L’Osservatore Romano.

VATICAN CITY – The beauty and joy found in sports, whether playing or watching, is something that benefits and unites everyone, regardless of religion, ethnic group, nationality, or disability, Pope Francis said Wednesday.

“Sport is a human activity of great value, able to enrich people’s lives,” he said Oct 5. “As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, she is working in the world of sport to bring the joy of the Gospel, the inclusive and unconditional love of God for all human beings.”

Pope Francis spoke at the Opening Ceremony of a conference called “Sport at the Service of Humanity.” Taking place at the Vatican on 5-7 Oct 2016, the conference, which includes 150 leaders from the world of sport, faith, business and civil society, aims to establish the principles for “a new movement” in sports.

Alongside other global institutions such as the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee, German-based insurance carrier Allianz has partnered with the Pontifical Council for Culture to put on the conference.

According to the official website for the conference, the initial inspiration came from the desire to explore the interconnectedness of faith and sport, as well as the “scope and limit” of the combination. – CNA/EWTN News

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