Pope Cautions About Dark Side of Sports World

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II appealed to athletes to overcome the evil of drug taking and the relentless pursuit of profit that influence parts of the sports world.

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The Pope gave that instruction Saturday when receiving in Paul VI Hall the 7,000 participants in a meeting organized by the Italian Sports Center.

“In our times, the sports system often seems conditioned by the logic of profit, spectacle, drug taking, extreme sports and episodes of violence,” the Holy Father said.

Christian athletes, he said, must “proclaim and give witness to the humanizing force of the Gospel in regard to the practice of sports which, if lived according to the Christian vision, becomes a generating principle of deep human relations, and favors the building of a more serene world, one of greater solidarity.”

The Pope concluded: “Each one of you is called to follow Christ and to be his witness in the field of sports.”

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