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Pope speaks to sports medicine doctors about training for the spiritual life

Catholic World News - September 28, 2012

In an audience with participants in the 32nd World Congress of Sports Medicine, Pope Benedict said that each athlete is “possessed of a moral and spiritual capacity which ought to be enriched and deepened by sports and sports medicine.”

“Sometimes, however, success, fame, medals and the pursuit of money become the primary, or even sole, motive for those involved,” the Pope continued. “It has even happened from time to time that winning at all costs has replaced the true spirit of sport and has led to the abuse and misuse of the means at the disposal of modern medicine.”

Participants in sports “are called to moral and spiritual perfection prior to the call to any physical achievement,” the Pope added. “Indeed, Saint Paul notes in his first letter to the Corinthians, that spiritual and athletic excellence are closely related, and he exhorts believers to train themselves in the spiritual life.”

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