IOC President Thomas Bach with Pope Francis during the "Sports for All" International Summit at the Vatican in September IOC President Thomas Bach with Pope Francis during the "Sports for All" International Summit at the Vatican in September  (AFP or licensors)

Vatican Dicasteries join IOC in Appeal for Peace

The Vatican Dicasteries for Culture and Education; for Laity, Family and Life; and for Promoting Integral Human Development join the International Olympic Committee in issuing an Appeal for Peace, calling for just and peaceful solutions to disputes and conflicts across the globe.

By Christopher Wells

An appeal promoted by the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and joined by various Vatican Dicasteries, urges world leaders “to seek just and peaceful solutions to all disputes and conflicts.”

It calls on them “to foster dialogue, understanding and fraternity among peoples, and to uphold the dignity of every man, woman and child, especially the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalized and those suffering from the violence of war and armed conflict.”

The Appeal, entitled “Follow the Path of Peace,” follow a Papal Audience granted to Mr Bach during the International Summit “Sport for All. Cohesive, accessible and tailored to each person,” which took place in the Vatican last month.

Peace a common value

In a statement released concurrently with the appeal, the Prefects of the Dicasteries for Culture and Education; Laity, Family and Life; and Promoting Integral Human Development say they have joined the IOC President’s appeal “because peace is a common value that the Church and the world of sport seek to promote for all people.”

Sport, it adds, “is a unique Sport is a unique tool that makes no difference to ideology, race or religion. And the Olympic and Paralympic Games are great symbols of peace that have as one of their founding elements the promotion of the so-called Olympic truce.”

The Appeal, the statement reads, serves “as a further call for peace and reconciliation between peoples where the priority is dialogue and building a better society.”

Spirit of solidarity needed

The Appeal itself notes the “conflicts, turmoil, and grave challenges” – including war, climate change and economic hardship – that “have brought unspeakable pain and suffering to millions of people around the globe.” In the wake of the pandemic “that reminded us how vulnerable all humans can be,” the Appeal affirms the signatories' “determination to build on the powerful sense of solidarity with one another that emerged from the health crisis.”

“We are convinced that it is only with such a spirit of solidarity in our hearts that we can effectively face the many challenges threatening humanity and our planet today.”

At the same time, the Appeal affirms that “God wills the peace and unity of our human family,” while noting “The Olympic and Paralympic Games are a great symbol of such unity, for they bring individuals and peoples together in healthy competition and encourage our world to see in athletic competition a genuine path to peace, founded on personal discipline and commitment to teamwork in the pursuit of excellence.”

The Appeal concludes with an exhortation to world leaders “to follow this path, for the benefit of every nation.”

25 October 2022, 13:14