October 7, 2011

Catholics pray for 100 Days of Peace for 2012 Olympics


by Jan Harris

Catholic schoolchildren in London have been asked to pray for 100 Days of Peace for the Olympics, as part of their training in the classical virtues of prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice.

The Archbishop of Westminster made the call for prayer at a mass at Westminster Cathedral today, which was attended by around 1,400 children from the Catholic dioceses of Westminster, Southwark and Brentwood.

The idea is based on the Sacred Truce, or “Ekecheiria” of the ancient Greek Olympics.

The Truce, which was believed to have been established in the 9th century BC, allowed people, including athletes, to travel in safety to and from the Olympic games.

The modern ‘truce’ will commence on 8 June, 50 days before the opening ceremony of the main 2012 games, and will end on 28 October, 50 days after the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games.

The schoolchildren will also take part in projects designed to help bring peace to local communities in the spirit of the ancient Olympian aim of ‘Peace through Sport’.

Controversy has already clouded the games, after the BBC’s Newsnight programme claimed that bribes had been accepted to ensure that boxers from Azerbaijan win gold medals.

The claims have been denied by the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) which has asked the BBC to provide evidence.

An investigation by the AIBA Special Investigation Committee into the allegations commenced yesterday.

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