Young soccer players present Pope Benedict XVI with a ball in 2005. (CNS)
The papal message was translated from Polish into English by the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano:
My beloved predecessor Blessed John Paul II said sports are a 'significant vehicle for personal development and in building a more human society.' A sense of brotherhood, honesty and respect for one’s body — virtues that are undoubtedly essential for every good athlete — help to build a civil society where antagonism is replaced by healthy competition.
Team sports are an important school for teaching a sense of respect for others, the spirit of personal sacrifice, and how to overcome the logic of individualism and selfishness, in order to make room for the logic of brotherhood and love, which alone can enable the promotion — at all levels — of the true common good.
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