25 February 2020
Church and sport

An educational pact for sports

Focusing on methods for involving pastors, religious, and the laity in evangelization through sports

A few days ago the National Pastoral Office of Leisure, Tourism, and Sport of the Italian Episcopal Conference held its annual meeting on sports, which was attended by Santiago Pérez de Camino, the head of the Church and Sport office of our Dicastery.

The meeting, on the theme of “An educational pact for sports,” sought to emphasize the importance of speakers, associations, and volunteers in the formation of new generations. It was also a moment of reflection and work for leaders within dioceses and Catholic sports associations; as well as an occasion to highlight new working methods and particular strategies for involving the whole Church—pastors, religious, and lay people—in evangelization through sports.

In his introductory greeting, Pérez de Camino encouraged all present not to be afraid of the changes and new challenges that could be presented by working together. “This educational pact is intended to leave aside problems and difficulties, without losing sight of reality,” he said, “to build bridges and to open the door to new generations who thirst for a beautiful word, for a message that leaves a lasting impact.”

Finally, quoting Pope Francis in the preface of “Giving the Best of Yourself,” the document on sports published by our Dicastery, he recalled that, “in a culture dominated by individualism and a ‘throw-away’ mentality, sports are a privileged sphere in which we encounter people without distinctions of race, sex, religion, or ideology; and where we can experience the joy of competing to reach a goal together. This helps us to reject the idea of achieving a goal by focusing only on ourselves.”