Skip to comments.Vatican Sets Up Sports Department
Posted on 08/03/2004 2:53:03 PM PDT by topcat54
By FRANCES D'EMILIO
Associated Press Writer
August 3, 2004, 1:52 PM EDT
VATICAN CITY --
He made saves as a soccer goalkeeper in his high school years in Poland, skied and kayaked in Europe and swam laps in the papal pool. Now Pope John Paul II has set up a sports department to give the Vatican a kind of new playing field in its drive to spread Christian values around the world.
The Vatican announced the initiative Tuesday, pointing to the millions of people who will follow the Olympics in Athens this month as proof of the important role sports plays in today's world.
"The Holy Father has always been interested in sports, and as a means of evangelization and a great way to form youth," said the Rev. Kevin Lixey, an American priest involved in establishing the department in the Pontifical Council for Lay People.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...
The Remnant is too focused on the things of Heaven to give a hoot whether you buy its stock or not. In fact, it operates on a shoestring--though it has an influence way out of proportion to its revenues. As for resisting the Pontiff to his face--it's necessary if Catholics are going to rescue the Church from the hijackers.
If Michael Matt gave a damn about heaven, he'd fire Attila Guimaraes and Christopher Ferrara, who are near occasions of sin to anyone who claims the name of "Catholic."
Sorry to take so long to reply. Had to go to the doctor. It seems my vertebrae are crumbling like rotting crockery. Yippee.
"Is a "Budweiser chaser after the Blessed Sacrament" a personal attack?"
Absolutely not. No way. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I am posolutely gobsmacked that this question was even asked.
"Or is that just good fun, dsc?"
Obviously it's not fun for the person whose ox is gored by that sarcastic humor, if he himself has no sense of humor. By every dictate of right reason, however, it is well within the bounds of fair comment and in no way a personal attack on any FR poster.
Another way to waste money.
Nice change of subject, sinkspur, so unlike you.
He made no mention of Michael Matt, but said that this was reported by Gerry Matatics in the Remnant. If it is the Remnant that bothers you, I have heard Matatics tell this story first hand. It was that experience at World Youth Day that pushed him to decide not to attend the Novus Ordo anymore.
For the record, Matatics was watching in horror as the Blessed Sacrament was being dropped in the mud and trampled, and he and another onlooker were doing their best to pick them and consume them.
Anyone who thinks this is a lie has obviously not witnessed the Catholic Woodstock atmosphere of WYD, as has been reported by numerous sources.
yeah, I know its a little ridiculous. Setting up a sports department when theres a ton of other, vastly more important youth-centered stuff thats gots to be done. I was simply responding to the idea that the Church shouldn't be doing anything youth realted until it cleans up its abuse mess.
Here's a recent traditio.com commentary which relates to this development:
It was only after he had left office that U.S. President Ronald Reagan was revealed to have Alzheimer's Disease. Then, in hindsight, some of his strange aberrancies became explainable. In our time, we may be witnessing a pope day by day losing his mind. In hindsight, the pattern is becoming clearer.
The pope's Church of the New Order -- or New Pentecost, or New Springtime, or whatever he calls it today -- is falling down around his knees.
Large numbers of his presbyters, bishops, and cardinals are deeply mired in immorality: whether theft from Church funds, sexual immorality, or apostasy from the Catholic Faith.
The "New Mass" that was foisted by illegal and invalid force upon the Church in the late 1960s has proven to be a disaster. Even the New Vatican talks about rampant "abuses." For the Novus Ordinarians, the novelty has worn off: attendance has plummeted from 80% in 1958 to 15% in 2003.
So widespread is the disintegration of Newchurch that "vocations" to it have almost completely dried up. New Order seminaries are closing all over the world, and many dioceses have no one to "ordain" this year.
So, what does this pope do? Does he follow his predecessors in calling for a renewed traditional devotion to Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, the Holy Angels, and the Saints? No. Instead, we have the "Rock Star" pope, pandering to the godless music of the present age instead of promoting, as did his holy predecessors, the music of the Church. We have the "Movie Star" pope, mugging for the secular press. We have the "Flower Child" pope, recording beatnik poetry for worldwide CD distribution.
And now we have the "Sports Bum" pope, worshipping at the altar of what, for many people in the modern age, is the new god: the Great God of Sport. This new god comes with its altar (the playing field), its priests (the players), its congregation (the spectators), its hierarchy (the officials), and even its own theological vocabulary (sports-talk). [Newsday]
For, you see, the New Vatican on August 3 announced its latest initiative to restore the Catholic Faith in the world: it established a new Department of Sport.
And what is the purpose of this department of the New Vatican? According to the announcement, it is to do a P.R. job on behalf of professional sports, which have been "marred by stadium violence, athletes' failing doping tests, and game-fixing inquiries." We have come a long way from Pope Pius XII, who quite properly condemned as immoral professional boxing lethal high-speed car races. One wonders what he would have said about modern-day professional ice hockey, soccer, and football! Now his successor has done a 180-degree spin and become a pawn for professional sports.
And it gets worse than that. This is the pope's charge to the new department: "fostering a sports culture that promotes a vision of sports activity as a means of integral personal growth and as an instrument in the service of peace and brotherhood among peoples."
Has the pope gone mad? Are we to find our salvation now in greedy professional sports instead of Our Lord Jesus Christ? Let me rephrase that charge to what a real pope would say (it will take only two changes to make it Catholic): "fostering a religious culture that promotes a vision of spiritual activity as a means of integral personal growth and as an instrument to the service of peace and brotherhood among peoples."
It this a pope, or a frustrated pop-culture idol?
This is amazing, really. Yet I don't accept that the Pope is either mad or suffering from Alzheimer's. He seemed pretty lucid in his opposition to the war in Iraq. It's puzzling. There is certainly something strange about his behavior--and his inability to explain why he does what he does. He elevated Kasper--after the man questioned the historicity of the Gospels and the accounts of the Resurrection. That is so profoundly troubling, it boggles the mind. His language and behavior is more that of a secular humanist than that of a Catholic pontiff.
Add to this that we are told by Scripture that Jesus warned we would be led at times by false prophets who would look like sheep but would be wolves in sheep's clothing, and our puzzlement grows. Because a good tree cannot bear bad fruit; and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Yet the fruits have been uniformly bad in this pontificate! It keeps getting worse instead of better. Last year bishops cut out kneeling for Communion. This year Hindu priests are worshiping their gods at one of our most sacred altars, with the bishop of Fatima publicly bragging about it. In neither case did Rome utter even a syllable of reproach. Meanwhile an utterly orthodox movie about the Passion of Christ--which would have been hailed publicly with great appreciation and joy by preconciliar pontiffs--is shrugged off as a political problem. "The Pope doesn't review movies" was the official line. No, he only worries about Sports apparently.
"Sport does not of itself have anything to do with the perfecting of the human being or with his destiny, and is of no assistance in attaining either, since excellence in physical attainments is quite compatible with a weakening of the subordination of these lower powers to reason. It is only the exercise of the will that confers any worth on the exercise of physical strength, inasmuch as an exercise of the will can increase the power of a man's reason and the extent of his moral freedom. One should not imagine there is any continuum between the physical and moral orders. There is a leap involved, that only the moral will can make."
To be truthful, your entire quote was probably over my head. But I think it's saying that physical pursuits are not, in and of themselves, virtuous. I agree with that. However, to be a great athlete you necessarily need a strong will to overcome physical obstacles (cramping, inclement weather, exhaustion, etc.)
Since so many of society's sins today are sins of the flesh, I really believe the pope is on to something terrific here. A teenage boy who is not physically exhausted at the end of the day is more prone to temptations than one who is. That's just common sense. But look around at the children (boys especially) you know and think if they get all the exercise they need to tire themselves out. By and large, the answer is no.
I for one am excited about this development and I have great hopes for the new Vatican Sports Department.
This is a tautology.
One must exercise the will in order to engage in sport, and to push one's self to extend one's physical capabilities.
Therefore, sport would seem to be a very good thing, especially since enhancing physical capabilities improves the physical home we provide for the Lord.
The quality of our physical home adds nothing to our worth before God.
Overcoming cramps, inclement weather, etc., will not get you to heaven, overcoming sin will.
But we are commanded not to abuse it with food, drink and sexual excess.
I'm not going to argue over the benefits of physical exercise. Engaging in it regularly enhances my ability to be of service, improves my mental outlook, and gives me more energy to be the best human I can be.
But, no, God does not demand that we exercise or engage in sports. They are both morally neutral.
I agree with everything you said.
Thanks. I agree. But staying in bed instead of getting up for a morning run when it's raining or freezing or really hot takes some will to overcome the bodily urge of remaining in bed. And overcoming bodily urges is a valuable skill which certainly can help get us into heaven.
Three of the seven deadly sins are directly related to the body - lust, gluttony, and sloth - and I think there's an argument to be made for anger as well. In other words, if you spend your life doing only what your body is telling you to do, your chance of getting into heaven is seriously diminished.
Nope, you're off base. Sports and athletic activity can do much to improve one mentally, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.
This was the message of my original post.
Sports can bring out the worst in people...
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