Catholic Church Issues Document on Sports and Religion


Catholic Church Issues Document on Sports and Religion

26 November 2018

"Giving the best of yourself' is a document that offers a Catholic perspective on sport published by the Dicastery of Laity, Family and Life. In a game, a person gives their very best and experiences satisfaction and the joy of accomplishment.  This document serves as a guide to help the reader understand the special relationship between these two worlds." The Document's title reveals the essence and the reason for the Church's interest and commitment to sports. Its centre is, indeed, occupied by the human person, as a whole composed of body and spirit; each of their activities, including sports, is supported by a set of virtues and good qualities that allow them to rise and never fall into the dangers that can undermine every human activity.

On the occasion of the document's publication, Pope Francis highlighted how sports can act as a bridge connecting people together: 

"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 idaea of conquering an objective by focusing only on ourselves. The need for others includes not only teammates but also managers, coaches, supporters, the family; in short, all those people who, with commitment and dedication, make it possible to “give the best of oneself.” All this makes sports a catalyst for experiences of community, of the human family. When a father plays with his son, when children play together in the park or at school, when an athlete celebrates the victory with his orher supporters, in all these environments we can see the value of sports as a place of unity and encounter between people. We reach great results, in sports as in life, together, as a team!" 

The full message from Pope Francis can be read at:

The document "Giving the best of yourself" can be consulted at: