Pope Backs a Worldwide Truce for the Olympics

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 23, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II has given his support to the initiative of the International Olympic Committee and the Greek government to declare a worldwide truce on the occasion of the Athens Olympics this August.

The signed petition was handed by Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, Vatican secretary for relations with states, to Christos Botzios, ambassador of Greece to the Holy See.

The papal aide also handed the ambassador a written appeal in which the Pope said: “May the nearness of the Olympic Games be the occasion of a new experience of fraternity so that hatred can be overcome, bringing men and nations closer.”

“With this motive,” the Holy Father wrote, “I address an appeal from the depth of my soul for a permanent truce from any form of violence so that the peaceful spirit and loyal competition, which the founders of the Olympic Games had in mind, may be able to spread to all sectors of society and to all continents.”

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