June 16, 2012. (Romereports.com)
Bringing ethics back into the world of sports is the subject of the newest initiative by two Vatican departments. Members from the Pontifical Councils for Culture and Laity are joining forces to bring values back onto the soccer field, the boxing ring, and every other sporting arena.
To make this collaboration possible, the Council for Culture has created a new department dedicated to sports, but it's not the first Vatican body to address the issue.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity has had a “Church and Sport” Program since before the 2004 Olympics. It was a project created by John Paul II as a way for the Church to reach out through sports at the international level.
MSGR. KEVIN LIXEY
Pontifical Council for the Laity
“For us it's an extra help, we could say. Our office has been up since 2004 and to have the help of another dicastery with all the cultural side to the phenomenon of sport is for us a great benefit.”
Monsignor Sánchez de Toca is the undersecretary for the Council for Culture, he says that different scandals in today's sports shows there is a need for a better education in ethics.
MSGR. MELCHOR SÁNCHEZ DE TOCA
Undersecretary, Pontifical Council for Culture
“If the Church abandons sports, then sports will follow its own course without moral references. We see what's going on right now, with episodes of doping, and recently corruption in the Italian soccer league. I believe there has to be an education to form those in sports.”
Both of these departments will also work with the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, which was created by Benedict XVI in 2010. The goal is to build character and spirit through excellence in sports.