On this first weekend of June, Vatican Insider, in place of an interview, will feature a Special I have prepared on the College of Cardinals, given that the universal church will be welcoming new cardinals into the College on Thursday, June 28. I look at the history of the college, its make up, the duties of the college and individual cardinals and so on. (photo

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This morning at the Holy See Press Office, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life presented its latest document entitled “Giving the Best of Yourself.” In addition to this document on sports, the Vatican released Pope Francis’ Letter to Cardinal Farrell, prefect of this dicastery, upon publication of the document.

The Holy Father wrote that, “Sports is a meeting place where people of all levels and social conditions come together to reach a common aim. In a culture dominated by individualism and the gap between the younger generations and the elderly, sports is a privileged area around which people meet without any distinction of race, sex, religion, or ideology, and where we can experience the joy of competing to reach a goal together, participating in a team, where success or defeat is shared and overcome; this helps us to reject the idea of conquering an objective by focusing only on ourselves.”

He also noted that “Sports is also a formative vehicle. Perhaps today more than ever, we must fix our gaze on the young, because the earlier the process of formation begins, the easier the person’s integral development through sports will be. We know how the new generations look at sportsmen and are inspired by them! The participation of all athletes of every age and level is, therefore, necessary; because those who are part of the sports world exemplify virtues such as generosity, humility, sacrifice, constancy, and cheerfulness.”

In conclusion Francis wrote, “I would like to emphasize the role of sports as a means for the mission and sanctification. The Church is called to be a sign of Jesus Christ in the world, also through the sports practiced in oratories, parishes, schools, and associations.”

“Giving the Best of Yourself” has 5 chapters. The first chapter explains the reasons for the Church’s interest in sport and the need for a pastoral approach to sport- In the second chapter, the document outlines the salient features of sport as a phenomenon and its contextualization in current society.

In chapter three, the theme of the meaning of sport for the person is explored. The fourth chapter is dedicated to open challenges, to the desire to contribute through sport to the promotion of authentic values that may provide to any sportsperson a patrimony to confront the many dangers that modern sport often has to face, such as doping, corruption and violent fans. The fifth and final chapter is dedicated to the role of the Church as a protagonist in this path of humanization through sport.

For further information and to download the digital document, please consult: