Pope Francis, Benedict XVI will remain neutral in World Cup final


With the World Cup final nearly upon us, supporters from the two teams that make up the fixture — Argentina and Germany — will be desperate for some divine intervention to see them to glory. Unfortunately, though, they won’t be able to call in any favors from two of the holiest men on the planet.

Pope Francis — who is Argentine — nor his predecessor, ex-German Pope Benedict XVI will be supporting their respective nations.

“Popes are above such things,” Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi said, via The Boston Globe. “They can only hope for the best team to win.”

Their decision to remain impartial may come as a shock to many, considering the first pontiff from Latin America is an avid soccer fan who roots for the Saints of San Lorenzo back in Buenos Aires. Since his election in March, Pope Francis has accumulated a growing collection of soccer jerseys tossed to him by fans at his public appearances.

Although neither is willing to side with either nation, the Pope is expected to catch the action, according to Roxana Alfieri, who worked with Pope Francis in Argentina.

“He will surely watch the match; I have no doubt about it,” Alfieri said. “He used to listen to San Lorenzo on the radio and enjoyed following all the big events on TV.”


Photo provide by Getty Images. Information from The Associated Press was used in this post.


Sunderland give Pope a jersey, get first win of season very next day


Image via BBC

Sunderland entered this weekend with just one point out of the season’s first eight games and a load of problems. They already sacked their manager and came in with the league’s worst offense and worst defense. Perhaps a little divine intervention was all they needed.

On Saturday, Pope Francis was given a personalized Black Cats shirt by Father Marc Lyden-Smith, Sunderland’s team chaplain. The next day, the team won its first match of the season, besting arch-rivals Newcastle 2-1 in the Ware-Tyne derby.

A miracle?

According to the BBC, Fr. Lyden-Smith was on a pilgrimage to Rome with about sixty people, and per the club’s request had taken a jersey along for His Holiness.

Lyden-Smith said:

"It was a bit of a miracle really. There were 120,000 people gathered in the square. We managed to get tickets up at the front and the pope was guided towards us.

"Some people from the North East managed to shake his hand and then I asked if he would accept the shirt and he took it and waved it in the air to cheers."

According to Lyden-Smith, Pope Francis was too “diplomatic” on Saturday to say that he would root for one team over another, but he didn’t need to reveal who he’d support — It’s pretty clear enough now!


Pope Francis expands jersey collection

Pope Francis is building up quite the collection of team kits. The self proclaimed soccer fan was presented a Spain jersey signed by the entire world cup winning team by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

During his most recent weekly general audience, a fan gave him a San Lorenzo jersey, his favorite soccer team from his native Buenos Aires.

Image via @itsbeben11

Not sure what is taking his home country of Argentina so long to send him over a jersey!


San Lorenzo puts Pope Francis’ face on jerseys, promptly wins game on own goal

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

After learning that the newly elected leader of the Catholic church, Pope Francis I, was an avid supporter of Argentinian side San Lorenzo, the team proudly had “Papa Francisco” badges put on their jerseys for the game against Colon.

And wouldn’t you know it, thanks to the power of the papal stickers, the “Saints” (yes, of course that’s their nickname) won with a little divine intervention: an own goal from the opposition!

Here’s the goal in question:


Newly elected Pope Francis shows San Lorenzo colors

By now, the entire world is reading up on newly elected Pope, Jorge Bergogolio, and what his appointment will mean to the Catholic Church.

Though that question remains to be answered, it really doesn’t concern us soccer junkies. Photos surfaced on the Pope’s true colors on Wednesday, that of Argentine club San Lorenzo.

Still an active member, San Lorenzo released images highlighting Bergogolio’s love for the club. Is worth noting that San Lorenzo were named after local priest Father Lorenzo Mass, the same priest who allowed children to play in his church’s yard to discourage them from playing near the dangerous trams around the city.

Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano and Argentina’s basketball international Lucas Victoriano congratulated Bergoglio’s appointment on Twitter: