Everyone has their eyes on the ball
June 8, 2012
It has long been suspected that Pope Benedict XVI is a soccer fan. Last week in Milan for the World Meeting of Families he received two soccer jerseys, one from each of the Milanese teams.
Today, as the EuroCup soccer tournament kicks off in Poland, Pope Benedict sent a message to the president of the Polish Episcopal conference, Archbishop Józef Michalik. He told Archbishop Michalik, “the church is not indifferent to this event, especially to the spiritual needs of those who participate in it”
While the pope didn’t say whether or not he will be watching the tournament, but he did say sport can be a means to help build up society. Through sport one learns teamwork, honesty, and respect for one’s body, and how to be in a situation with two opposing sides without being in a battle situation.
Indeed, seminaries in various parts of the world have used sports to balance their seminarians’ human formation. Roman seminaries launched the Clericus Cup tournament in 2007 especially for seminarians. In Canada, seminaries in Ontario have organized hockey tournaments, in which both seminarians and professors participate. All invovled say it is not only great stress relief, but brings balance to a life that is otherwise heavy on books and philosophy.
It is also common for Italian parishes to have soccer fields instead of parking lots, and pastors who double as soccer coaches in the evenings. Many a vocations has been found in Italy because of the close contact with the church that was fostered through parish sports programs.
Pope Benedict encouraged all those involved in the EuroCup tournament to help the event be an expression of the most noble virtues of human action. He also said he is praying for all those involved in the tournament, including players, fans, volunteers and those who minister to them.
---
photo courtesty of KCKRS
A bishop of Warsaw kicks a soccer ball during the blessing of  a stadium that will be used during the Euro Cup.
Related posts
FacebookTwitter
Catholics who remember the paradigm shift that took place at Vatican II often point to the transformation of the liturgy as its most concrete expression. That’s understandable. As Catholics, th ...read more
We begin with news today, from Fatima where Carmelite Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the three children who saw Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, is now one step closer to canonization. The Diocesan phase ...read more
FacebookTwitter
“He imposes peace in His heights. Can His troops be numbered? On whom does His light not shine?[…] even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in His sight.” Book of Job, Chapter ...read more
FacebookTwitter
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – February 26th, 2017 In today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel (6:25-34), Jesus does not deny the reality of human needs (6:32), but forbids making the ...read more
Today, on a special edition of Perspectives, Deacon Pedro speaks with Calgary’s Bishop-Elect, WIlliam McGrattan. Bishop McGrattan will be installed as the 8th bishop of Calgary on February 27, 2 ...read more