Pope Francis: “The values of sport can help prevent war”
Pope Francis tells members of a Roman rowing club that the spirit of true sport can cultivate human friendship and act as an important antidote to preventing war.
By Lisa Zengarini
During an audience with members of a Roman rowing club on Saturday, Pope Francis again spoke about the ongoing war in Ukraine with all its horrors, which he says cannot be forgotten and remind us of the cruelty of which humanity is capable.
Promote human friendship
Addressing the members of the “Reale Circolo Canottieri Tevere Remo” on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of its founding, he remarked that the spirit of pure sport is an important antidote to help prevent war.
Healthy competition vs profit logic
Pope Francis noted that “the values of healthy competition, friendship and solidarity” are best expressed in amateur sport, noting that professional sport is more likely to be conditioned by “the logic of profit and exasperated competition” which can even lead to violence.
He therefore encouraged the members of the rowing club “to persevere so that, through sporting activity, children, young people and adults can cultivate the essential values of love for truth and justice, respect for creation, the taste for beauty and the good, the search for freedom and peace.“
“Playing sport with loyalty and a healthy competitive spirit” “will help you face the demanding race of life with courage and honesty, with joy and a serene faith in the future, pausing to wait patiently for those who are more slow and have more difficulty walking,” concluded Pope Francis.