Sport a School of Values, Says Pontiff

Receives Delegation of Ski Instructors

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2010 ( Sport can become a school of “human and Christian values,” Benedict XVI said today upon receiving in audience a delegation of Italian ski instructors.
The Pope reflected in his comments to the delegation that “sport, practiced with passion and ethical sense, in addition to exercising a healthy competitive spirit, becomes a school to learn and deepen human and Christian values.”
“Through sporting activity, the person understands better that his body cannot be considered an object, but that, through corporeity, expresses itself and enters into relationship with others,” he continued.
“In this way, the balance between the physical and spiritual dimension leads not to idolizing the body, but to respect it, not to make it an instrument to develop at all costs, using perhaps means that are not even licit,” the Pontiff added.
In particular, Benedict XVI said, skiing allows us “to ask ourselves about the meaning of creation, to look on high, to open ourselves to the Creator” and reminds man of his responsibility “in conserving and cultivating the work of God” with “gratitude and recognition.”
Because, he added, if on one hand “progress in the scientific and technological realm gives man the possibility to intervene and manipulate nature,” on the other there is always the risk “of wanting to substitute the Creator and to reduce creation virtually to a product to be used and consumed.”
Hence, addressing the ski instructors, the Pope reminded them of their role directed to “a healthy sports formation” and to “education in respect of the environment,” “to act not in an isolated way, but in agreement with the families, especially when your pupils are minors, and in collaboration with the school and the other educational realities.”
“Important also is your testimony of faithful laymen,” the Holy Father concluded, “that even in the context of sports activity, are able to give the right centrality to fundamental moments for the life of faith, especially to the sanctification of Sunday as day of the Lord.”

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