Benedict XVI hopes for Olympics that 'respect dignity'


Rome, Aug 4, 2008 / 10:34 am (CNA).- After delivering his traditional Angelus address to thousands of the faithful on Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI told the crowd that he hopes the Beijing Olympics will provide a good example of coexistence, while respecting human dignity.

Looking ahead to August 8, the Holy Father noted that "Beijing will open the Games of XXIX Olympiad." Although he is on vacation until August 11, the Pope said that he will be following "this great sporting encounter with profound interest."

Addressing himself to the China, the organizers and participants, and above all the athletes, Pope Benedict sent his cordial greetings, "with the hope that everyone can give their best in a genuine Olympic spirit."

While the preparations for the Olympics have been marred by the Chinese government's restrictions on the freedom of the press and Tibetan freedom protests, the Pope diplomatically chose to express his hope that the Olympic Games "provides the international community a good example of coexistence between people of many different origins, while respecting common dignity. May once again sport be a pledge of brotherhood and peace among peoples!"