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Euro Cup competitors receive papal encouragement

Catholic World News - June 11, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has sent his greetings to participants, organizers, and fans involved in the Euro Cup soccer competition, which opened this week at locations in Poland and Ukraine.

“The Church does not remain indifferent to this event,” the Pope wrote, noting with satisfaction that liturgical events and prayer services were included in the scheduling.

Citing the words of Blessed John Paul II, the Pontiff wrote that competition in sports is a healthy means of developing human virtues. Pope Benedict added that a team sport like soccer is “an important school for teaching a sense of respect for others including opponents, the spirit of personal sacrifice for the good for the whole group, the enhancement of qualities of each person which forms the team; in a word, how to overcome the logic of individualism and selfishness which often characterizes human relationships, in order to make room for the logic of brotherhood and love.”

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