Orthodox and Catholics Join in Athens Conference

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ATHENS, Greece, AUG. 19, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A Vatican official sent a message to an Athens conference promoting "a vision of the world where peoples engage in a peaceful and loyal competition."



Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, sent that message to the conference whose theme was "Religion, Peace and the Olympic Ideal."

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople presided at the Aug. 10-11 conference.

Cardinal Kasper was unable to attend the event, but sent an address, which was read by the papal nuncio in Greece.

In his address the cardinal emphasized the "importance of a vision of the world where peoples engage in a peaceful and loyal competition, forgetting their legitimate interests." Thus he recalled John Paul II's words on the importance of the Olympic Games as a fraternal competition.

Organizers said the conference aimed to present "the vision of a world in which all peoples, in peaceful competition and a harmonious society, pursue their legitimate interests, beyond discrimination, and contribute to the construction of a harmonious society, free, just and respectful of human values."