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Pope suggests sport can build respectful society


Pope Benedict XVI told yesterday's General Audience that sport represents a discipline which, "if practiced in respect for the rules, becomes an educational instrument and a vehicle for important human and spiritual values".

CLICK HERECatholic News Agency reports that among the nearly 26,000 pilgrims present for the Pope's general audience today in St. Peter's Square were representatives from the UEFA and "Gioco Calcio" sport federations, to whom the Holy Father spoke of the spiritual importance of sport--activities which, he said, can bring respect, loyalty and solidarity between peoples.

Youth from 16 countries, accompanied by their respective ambassadors, are currently in Italy participating in the "Calcio-Cares" project, which is being organised in collaboration with the Pontifical "Cor Unum" Council.

Pope Benedict told the group that, "Your presence gives me the opportunity to shed light on the importance of sport, a discipline which, if practiced in respect for the rules, becomes an educational instrument and a vehicle for important human and spiritual values."

"May today's initiative", he said, "also serve to revitalize in each of you the commitment to ensure that sport contributes to building a society characterized by mutual respect, loyalty of behavior, and solidarity between peoples and cultures."

Meanwhile Cardinal George Pell told the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday that he was satisfied that the downgrading of the striking charge of Sydney Swans AFL captain Barry Hall represented a just outcome.

"I've seen Barry Hall play many times and he's a big, tough fella," he said. "If he'd given that chap a decent whack he wouldn't have been rolling around and carrying on, he would have gone straight down.

"It was a playful little nudge and I've got no doubt whatsoever that complete justice was done."

SOURCE
Pope Benedict: sports, properly practiced, can build respect, loyalty and solidarity between people and cultures (Catholic News Agency 21/9/05)
Hall has friends in holy places (Sydney Morning Herald/Australian Associated Press 22/9/05)

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22 Sep 2005