The World Taekwondo Federation awarded Pope Francis an honorary 10th Dan Black Belt – the highest rank in taekwondo – by WTF President Chungwon Choue at the Vatican City.
“There are moments when you are utterly thrilled: Rejoicing at a result, at the winning of a medal or at some other historic success that will remain forever in your memory. This was a moment like that,” reads a WTF press release, with President Choue stating: “It was a tremendous honor to meet a man who has such immense moral stature worldwide. It was a great privilege to brief him on the sport of taekwondo, and on our humanitarian activities across the globe.”
According to the WTF press release, the Pope expressed his interest in the humanitarian
activities of the global taekwondo family, notably the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, which was established in Lausanne, Switzerland last year with the mission of “empowering the powerless” – teaching taekwondo to refugees and displaced persons throughout the world. The meeting ended with a traditional farewell.
“Pray for me,” the smiling Pope Francis implored his guests.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.