The Pope told participants to “explore the good that sport and faith can bring to our society”. He told them “sport brings great values to society where all people can join in despite their ethnic or religious background”.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon thanked IOC President Thomas Bach “for his vision” in setting up the Refugee Olympic Team which competed at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. He said it was “a powerful reminder of sport's ability to promote dignity and human rights”.
For his part, IOC President Thomas Bach told the audience in the Vatican, “like faith, sport teaches us the importance of living in solidarity and peace with our fellow humans”.
“One of the many values shared by sport and faith is the respect for the dignity and equality of all human beings," he added.The inaugural conference is described by organizers as a “chance for a new drive to promote and extol the virtues of Faith and Sport in our lives”. The three-day meeting is organized under the six principles “shared by faith and sport” of Compassion, Respect, Love, Enlightenment, Balance and Joy.