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Pope supports "Change the Game" initiative

January 23, 2007

The Pope came out in support of the “Change the Game” initiative, which seeks to encourage parents and children put aside toys that portray or mimic violent weapons. As a child, my parents bought me few, if any, toy guns (I was more of a Pogo-Ball/Chemistry Set type kid). I have often wondered whether parents help to promote, at best, a curiosity toward weapons in the children or, at worst, a serious predilection for violence. In any case, I do not think toy weapons are appropriate for young children.

Here’s Zenit’s write-up of the story:

Date: 2007-01-22

Pope Urges Youth to “Change the Game”

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 22, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI gave his public support to the Change the Game project, an initiative that asks children to put toy weapons aside.

“I am pleased with this initiative and I would like to extend the appeal: Let’s protect children from the spread of violence!” the Pope said on Sunday when greeting crowds gathered to pray the Angelus.

The project, which began in Leece, Italy, sponsors campaigns to “disarm” children of their violent play things. Since it began, Change the Game has collected some 4,500 toy weapons.

With the help of the civil authorities of Leece, Vito Patti, known as the Magician Fracasso, organized a month-long “disarmament” campaign that ended Jan. 6.

When Benedict XVI received Magician Fracasso in a private audience, the magician gave the Holy Father 12 toy weapons collected during the campaign.

The Change the Game project is now being promoted in other European cities.

You can find some links to websites that sell classical toys here (via Coffee and Diapers).

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