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  • » 02/16/2017, 15.28

    VATICAN

    Pope: “inclusion enriches every community and society”



    Francis met with a delegation of athletes from Special Olympics, a global organisation present in 170 countries dedicated to sports for youth and adults with mental disabilities. " Sport also helps us to spread a culture of encounter and solidarity,” said the pontiff. “Together, athletes and helpers show us that there are no obstacles or barriers which cannot be overcome.”

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis met today awith a delegation from Special Olympics International, a global organisation that represents athletes who will participate in the Special Olympics World Winter Games scheduled for next month in Austria. The association, which is present in 170 countries, organises year-round training and competitions for youth and adults with mental disabilities.

    In his address, noting that “Every life is precious, every person is a gift and inclusion enriches every community and society”, the pontiff emphasised the importance of sport to those involved in it. Citing the Special Olympics athlete’s oath, he said, “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

    “Sport is good for the body and the soul, and allows us to improve the quality of our lives. The constant training, which also requires effort and sacrifice, helps you to grow in patience and perseverance, gives you strength and courage and lets you acquire and develop talents which would otherwise remain hidden. I am certain that all of you have had this experience. You feel rewarded and also recognized, appreciated for your abilities.

    “In a way, at the heart of all sporting activity is joy: the joy of exercising, of being together, of being alive and rejoicing in the gifts the Creator gives us each day. Seeing the smile on your faces and the great happiness in your eyes when you have done well in an event – for the sweetest victory is when we surpass ourselves – we realize what true and well-deserved joy feels like! We can learn from you to enjoy small and simple pleasures, and to enjoy them together.

    “Sport also helps us to spread a culture of encounter and solidarity. Together, athletes and helpers show us that there are no obstacles or barriers which cannot be overcome. You are a sign of hope for all who commit themselves to a more inclusive society. Every life is precious, every person is a gift and inclusion enriches every community and society. This is your message for the world, for a world without borders, which excludes no one.

    "Dear friends, the Special Olympics World Winter Games will be a wonderful moment in your lives. You will be, as the theme of this year’s event says, a ‘heartbeat for the world’.”

    More than 4 million youth and adult athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 1 million volunteers take part in the activities organised by Special Olympics International. The latter was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver and is currently led by her son Timothy Shriver.

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    LEBANON – MIDDLE EAST – VATICAN
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    Afflicted by wars, emigration and insecurity, Christian communities have now become "a small flock" amid the indifference of the international community. Patriarchs appeal to Pope Francis and the international community. Catholics and Orthodox share the same problems. The end of Christians in the East would be "a shameful stigma for the whole 21st century".


    KOREA
    Korean Bishops say no to “unreasonable provocations', call for a stop to the nuclear escalation by working for the “coexistence of humanity”



    Korean bishops issued an Exhortation today on the rising tensions around the Korean peninsula. North Korea but also "neighbouring countries" are at risk of "hasty unrestrained action" that could lead to the "death of innumerable people" and "deep wounds for the whole of humanity." They call for reduced military budgets and more spending on human and cultural development. They urge using "conscience, intelligence, solidarity, piety and mutual respect". A prayer is set for the feast day of the Assumption, which is also Korean Independence Day.


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