The head of the Catholic church, Pope Francis, has invited Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Vatican to discuss plans to revolutionize the Roman Catholic church, to make it a “shrine of health and fitness”.
The proposal is to run an annual “Father Universe” competition where the Catholic clergy will be encouraged to participate in a bodybuilding competition similar to the Mr. Olympia competitions that Arnold Schwarzenegger was champion of for so many years.
Although the Catholic Clergy will not be competing to the same level as professional bodybuilders, they will be working out for several hours a day, performing high volume weight training, and taking protein supplements to help build muscle in preparation for the inaugural event due to take place in 2015.
The Pope hopes to hold the Father Universe event on October 24th, the feast day of St. Raphael the Archangel, who is the Patron Saint of Health. This gives contestants 18 months to prepare for the first competition.
It is hoped that contestants from all over the World will meet in the Vatican for the first event next year, with future events being hosted by Archbishops in the major Catholic cities. It is rumored that the 2016 Father Universe will be held in Brazil, hosted by the Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer in Sao Paulo.
The Catholic Church is one of the largest and furthest reaching organizations in the world with around one billion members. It is also one of the oldest organizations and has played an important role in the development of western civilization. For this reason a strong, healthy stance from the Catholic Church would be very far reaching and should hopefully encourage many people who are inactive, overweight and obese to spring into action to change their lives for the better.
Of course, there is still so much more that can be done by the church to encourage people to lead a healthier and more natural life. Some people feel that the Catholic Church should be doing more to guide and aid the average person in the ways of healthy living. There is so much emphasis on living a good life in accordance with the bible, but very little in living a healthy lifestyle which will result in longer, happier and more fulfilling lives for many people. Do you think that they should be doing more? With great power comes great responsibility!
Many Catholic Clergy are excited by this news, and hoping that they can lead their flocks to a healthier future, leading by example. Some are hopeful that this will lead to greater things, including an event to rival the Olympics, The Catholic Games.
Article updated on 1/4/14.
Photo credit: Kancelaria Prezydenta