By Vatican News
Pope Francis on Friday greeted sportsmen and staff of the International Ice Hockey Federation who are holding their Semi-Annual Congress, and highlighting the fact that sport is a channel for the promotion of peace and unity.
Sporting activities are meeting places
He said sporting activities are meeting places where people of many different backgrounds come together, and he said that hockey is a good example of how sport can express a sense of community.
“It is a team game in which each team member has an important role to play,” he said.
The Pope reflected on how the Church also values sport as “an arena of human activity where the virtues of temperance, humility, courage and patience can be fostered, and encounters with beauty, goodness, truth and joy can be witnessed.”
He encouraged those in charge of the Federation to continue to make the sport inclusive and available to individuals on a global level.
The capacity to get up after a fall
The Pope then praised the skills and techniques required for ice-skaters including the capacity to “get up after a fall,” and he remarked on a recently updated statute and the fact that a new Ethics Board has been included.
“Today’s culture may sometimes steer sporting activities down the wrong path, but we must keep in mind that rules are there to serve a specific purpose and to avoid a descent into chaos,” he said.
Pope Francis concluded encouraging those present and the Federation “to go forth and continue your special mission to make this sport inclusive and to ensure a safe community for all who take part”.
“May the Lord bless you and always give you the joy of sport being played together,” he said.