'06 Olympic Torch Passes Through Vatican

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 9, 2005 (ZENIT.org).- Benedict XVI highlighted the value of peace and fraternity that sports can promote, when he blessed the torch of the 2006 Winter Olympics.

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The Olympic flame was carried to St. Peter’s Square on Thursday by Swiss Guard Anton Kappler, and by Luca de Leo, an officer of the Vatican police. The Pope blessed it from the balcony of his study, after praying the Angelus on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

“With pleasure I bless the Olympic torch that passes today through Rome on its way to Turin, venue of the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games,” said the Pope with a smile. The Games will be held in that northern Italian city in February.

“May this flame,” he said, “remind all of the values of peace and fraternity which are the foundation of the Olympics.”

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