Follow the Path of Peace: An Appeal to World Leaders to be Builders of Peace and Solidarity
The IOC Appeal, joined by the Dicastery, is the first fruit of the "Sport for All" Summit
One of the first fruits of the International Summit " “Sport for All. Cohesive, accessible and tailored to each person”, held in the Vatican on the 29 and 30th of September last, is an Appeal for Peace, promoted by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, following an audience with the Holy Father Francis in the Summit days.
The Dicastery for Culture and Education, the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development join the IOC's appeal, as peace is a common value that the Church and the world of sport seek to promote for all peoples. As Pope Francis said in the Audience with the participants of the Summit, "today we so much need a pedagogy of peace, to foster a culture of peace, starting from daily interpersonal relationships to arrive at those between people's and nations. If the world of sport transmits unity and cohesion, it can become a formidable ally in building peace."
"God wills the peace and unity of our human family" - it is written in the appeal - "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 invites to follow the path of peace, to call for peace throughout the world, and for reconciliation between peoples where the priority is dialogue and the construction of a better society. It asks all leaders of the world to walk the path of peace, and all people of good will to work - each in their own environment - to be builders of peace and solidarity.
The appeal comes after the Declaration signed at the end of the Summit "Sport for All" by the most important International sport organizations, as well as by intergovernmental institutions, International federations, and non-profit organisations working for integration of people into society through sport. Those who want to adhere to the Declaration can do so online on the website: www.sportforall.va
FOLLOW THE PATH OF PEACE
Our world is once again confronting conflicts, turmoil and grave challenges. The scourges of war, climate change and economic hardship have brought unspeakable pain and suffering to millions of people across the globe. As a consequence of a world war being fought piecemeal, over 100 million people have had to flee their homes, families have been separated, and countless mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are living in fear, unable to practice their faith, pursue their dreams for a better life, or even simply to play sport.
This human tragedy comes as the world is still reeling from a global pandemic that reminded us how vulnerable all human beings can be. In light of that important experience of humility, we reaffirm our 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.
In this spirit of solidarity, we urge world leaders to seek just and peaceful solutions to all disputes and conflicts. We call 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.
God wills the peace and unity of our human family. 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.
United in this conviction, we appeal to world leaders to follow this path, for the benefit of every nation and people.
Thomas Bach, IOC President
Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, Prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education
Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life
Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
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