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.