Pope Francis praises Koreas' Olympic cooperation
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 08, 2018 09:05 AM
FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2017, file photo, Lee Hee-beom, center, president of the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and attendance are silhouetted as they participate in a launching ceremony of the commemorative coins and bank notes for the Games, in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis is praising the decision of North and South Korea to compete alongside each other at the Winter Olympics, saying it shows that conflicts can be resolved peacefully through dialogue and mutual respect.
Francis sent a special greeting and blessing to athletes and organizers of the Pyeongchang Olympics at the end of his weekly Wednesday general audience. He says the traditional Olympic truce "takes on special importance this year" with the decision by the two Koreas, which will compete together in women's hockey and march together at the opening ceremony.
He says the move shows that sports can promote peace.
Francis has frequently warned about the threat posed by the nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula, and has demanded complete nuclear disarmament. He said the Holy See would support any initiative that favors peace and encounter among peoples.