Cardinal Ravasi meets IOC President over upcoming Vatican conference

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The President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, met on Monday with the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach.

Meeting at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, the two men discussed the “Sport at the Service of Humanity” Conference scheduled to take place from 5 to 7 October at the Vatican Synod Hall.

Supported by the IOC and the United Nations, it will be the first global conference on faith and sport. The meeting will gather leaders from all areas of society to look at how faith and sport can use their respective influence to promote positive values.

Cardinal Ravasi meets IOC President over upcoming Vatican conference

Pope Francis is expected to open the conference, which will also feature keynote speeches by Mr. Bach and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“It will be an occasion to come together to face up to the great challenges of contemporary society, which are shared interests for the world’s sporting and religious communities: how to live with respect for all, with increased understanding of each other’s traditions and values, more full and healthy lives, more integrated communities,” Cardinal Ravasi said.

“Sport is also of such fundamental importance for education, allowing young people especially to open up to the trials of life, putting themselves to the test, crossing boundaries, meeting opponents on a fair playing field while striving to the best they can be, in some sense aiming for the Transcendent,” the Cardinal added.

President Bach said the role of sport is “always to build bridges, it is never to build walls.”

“Sport stands for dialogue and understanding which transcend all differences. Sport, and the Olympic Movement especially, understands the global diversity of cultures, societies and life designs as a source of richness,” Mr. Bach said.

“The first global conference on faith and sport will be the perfect opportunity to reflect how sport and its values can support social change, community development and the promotion of peace and human rights along with faith principles across all religions,” concluded the IOC President.

(from Vatican Radio)