Since the 20th century, the Church has held that, sports activities, whether professional or recreational, constitute a unique opportunity to strengthen, not only the body, but also the spirit. This is the work of the “Church and Sport” Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, a department created by the express wish of Saint John Paul II in 2004.
The work carried out is twofold: on one hand, the international representation of the Church in the world of sports and, on the other, the promotion and organization of projects that promote faith and values in sports and in society through sports activities.
In an interview with Zenit news, Perez de Camino, who is the responsible for the Church and Sport Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, explained: “This is a contribution the Holy See can make to bring about a more just, more human society, because the values sport[s] has can help to create a better society.” About 150 delegates, including personalities of the world of sports, international federations, NGOs, Catholic institutions and those of other Christian confessions and of other religions are expected to attend the conference.
Among others who will attend are the President of the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations’ Secretary General, which shows the importance that different institutions give to sports as instrument of formation in values.
Although organized by the Holy See, it will not be a religious congress, but a multi-cultural one, because it seeks to set the basis for creating instruments and methods to improve society and not neglect the peripheries—in other words, to see in what way people can be helped to live better through sports. Ask on how the positive values of sports can be communicated, de Camino explained: “The key, and we have been working on this, is that sport[s] must put the human person at the center.”
He added: “The Pope is very concerned that sport[s] be an instrument of formation for the new generations. Therefore, it is important that all elements that take part in sport see the importance of this factor: to form athletes while they are still young not to think that they must be the best or to win at all costs. When sport[s] is instrumentalized for this sole objective, it becomes something negative for a person.”
The Holy See’s Pontifical Council for Culture (PCC) and Allianz also announced that Allianz is the Founding Partner of the Sport at the Service of Humanity Conference, conceived by the Council under the leadership of its President, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi. Allianz will also be supporting the Humanity Sports Club, a global initiative aimed at encouraging youth to adopt the principles of the movement and demonstrate that commitment both on the playing field and in life.
For further information, please visit: sportforhumanity.com