Pope Francis has approved of the sport’s new initiative called “The Declaration of Principles,” a doctrine co-signed by 17 international hockey organizations stressing how the game should be open to everyone and bring people together. Pope Francis has written a letter of approval to the NHL on their Declaration of Principles.
The letter penned by Pope Francis was read by Pat Lafontaine, who was invited to The Vatican last year to attend the Sports for the Service to Humanity conference that at least partially inspired the Declaration of Principles. Lafontaine has been at the forefront of this movement and many others to fight for inclusion in hockey.
Here is part of the letter, as read out by LaFontaine.
“His Holiness, Pope Francis, was pleased to learn that an international group of hockey organizations has chosen formally to adopt the declaration of principles that emerged from last year’s global conference. His Holiness trusts that this significant gesture will inspire greater appreciation for the pivotal role that’s played by sports and sportsmanship in training future generations to pursue personal excellence and to promote the spiritual values of teamwork, solidarity and mutual respect that are so necessary.”
The Declaration of Principles, released by the NHL on Wednesday, is intended to promote inclusion, physical activity and health, sportsmanship and accessibility, and multiple other things.