The Vatican’s First Document on Sports
On June 1st, 2018, the Pontifical Council for Laity, Family and Life, released a document entitled, “Giving the Best of Yourself: A document about the Christian perspective on sport and the human person”
The document sees sports as (1) a formative vehicle (a rich source of values and virtues that help us to become better people and better Christians); (2) a “meeting place” for people of all ages, races, classes, and cultures that can counteract the tendency towards individualism; (3) a pastoral instrument for “encounter, formation, mission, and sanctification.”
There had been an earlier view that the Church had a negative attitude on sports due to a wrong understanding of the body. But, the Church sees sports as beauty and form of art which help us encounter God, who is the source of all beauty. Sports show and can promote human values.
Virtue of Sports:
Virtue has something to do with balance and moderation in life. St. Thomas Aquinas argues that a virtuous person should not be working all the time, but also needs time for play and recreation. The virtues of patience, temperance, humility, harmony and courage are fostered during sports in relation to beauty, truth, joy and goodness.
Educative Value of Sports:
Athletes have the mission to be educators as well, since sports can effectively inculcate many higher values, such as loyalty, friendship and team-spirit. Sports can be a school of teamwork that helps us overcome selfishness. The individuality…
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Fr. Gilbert Choondal SDB