"Peace is not just the absence of war. It involves mutual respect and confidence between peoples and nations. It involves collaboration.” – Pope John Paul II
Inspired and informed by Catholic social teaching the Playing for Peace initiative aims to use the communal nature of sports to bring people together in an effort to build relationships that transcend racial, ethnic and religious differences. In certain situations the initiative intends to use the platform of sports to raise awareness for issues of social concern, while leading informed advocacy efforts.
The vision for the Playing for Peace initiative is to use the power and platform of sport to make a difference in the world by organizing programs that are informed by some of the following core principles of Catholic Social Tradition.*
Catholic social teaching proclaims that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, wherever they live. We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. Solidarity means that "loving our neighbor" has global dimensions in an interdependent world.
John Paul II has called solidarity a virtue. It is the virtue, he says, by which we demonstrate "a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good ... because we are all really responsible for all."
Promotion of Peace
Catholic teaching promotes peace as a positive, action-oriented concept. In the words of Pope John Paul II, "Peace is not just the absence of war. It involves mutual respect and confidence between peoples and nations. It involves collaboration and binding agreements.”
There is a close relationship in Catholic teaching between peace and justice. Peace is the fruit of justice and is dependent upon right order among human beings.
Community and the Common Good
In a culture driven by excessive individualism, our tradition proclaims that the person is not only sacred but also social. Human dignity can only be realized and protected in the context of relationships with the wider society.
How we organize our society -- in economics and politics, in law and policy -- directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. The obligation to "love our neighbor" has an individual dimension, but it also requires a broader social commitment. Everyone has a responsibility to contribute to the good of the whole society, to the common good.
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
A basic moral test of society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. The poor have the most urgent moral claim on the conscience of the nation.
The option for the poor is a perspective that examines personal decisions, policies of private and public institutions, and economic relationships in terms of their effects on the poor - those who lack the minimum necessities of nutrition, housing, education, and health care. Those who are marginalized and whose rights are denied have privileged claims if society is to provide justice for all.
The obligation to evaluate social and economic activity from the viewpoint of the poor and the powerless arises from the radical command to love one's neighbor as one's self. The option for the poor is an essential part of society's effort to achieve the common good. A healthy community can be achieved only if its members give special attention to those with special needs, to those who are poor and on the margins of society.
*Principle descriptions take from Catholic Charities Office for Social Justice