CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy: Pope Benedict XVI blessed the Olympics starting in London this week in his traditional Sunday address and said he hoped the spirit of the Games would encourage peace in the world.
“We pray that with the will of God the Games in London will be a true experience of brotherhood between the peoples of the world,” the pope told thousands of pilgrims at his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo near Rome.
“I pray that, in the spirit of the Olympic Truce, the goodwill generated by this international sporting event may bear fruit, promoting peace and reconciliation throughout the world,” the 85-year-old pontiff said.
“Upon all those attending the London Olympic Games, I invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God,” he said to cheers from the crowd.
He added that because of the global nature of the event, the Catholic Church viewed the Olympics “with particular sympathy and attention.” The Olympic Games begin on Friday and will wrap up on August 12.