Benedict: sport is integral to personal development

Sport is integral to the development of the person, Pope Benedict said on Friday.

Sports teams can help develop participants and spectators in important values, including ‘brotherhood’ generosity, honesty, self-sacrifice and respect for one’s adversaries, the pontiff told players and fans of the European Soccer Championship.

Benedict XVI said that if sport is understood in this way, it is not an end but a means, and can be a tool of civilization, motivating people to put the best of themselves on the field and reject that which could be dangerous or harmful for oneself and for others.

The Holy Father in particular singled out team sports, saying they “overcome the logic of individualism and selfishness, which often characterize human relations, in order to make room for the logic of brotherhood and love, the only things that can lead to promoting the common good on every level.”

The Pope made his comments in a message to Archbishop Jozef Michalik, president of the Polish episcopal conference, on the occasion of the UEFA EURO 2012 being held in Poland and Ukraine.


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