The Pope sent out a video message on Thursday, for the start of the World Cup in Brazil. Speaking in Portuguese he asked for the massive sporting event to be more than just a celebration. He asked that it also be a platform to promote solidarity among peoples.
He described sports as a tool that can communicate values and one that can help build peace.
"Let's think about loyalty, perseverance, friendship, sharing and solidarity. Certainly, football awakens many values and attitudes that are not only important on the field, but also in life, specifically when it comes to peace. Athletics is a school of peace, it teaches us to build peace.”
He then went on to describe the three sports lessons that can be applied to life. First, he mentioned the need to 'train' then, playing clean, and respect for one's opponents. Training, he said, can go a lot further than just life. One can also train to achieve piece.
"We need to train a lot ... Soccer can and should be a school that promotes a 'culture of encounter.' One that leads to harmony and peace between peoples.”
When it comes to playing clean, the Pope said the true secret of a victory lies in respecting others and overcoming individualism.
"Being individualistic in soccer, blocks the success of the entire team. It's the same with life. If we are 'individualistic' and we ignore those around us, an entire society is harmed.”
The Pope also took time to send out a tweet, where he asks for the World Cup to promote a spirit of brotherhood.