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Archbishop Gänswein reports papal reactions to World Cup final

Catholic World News - July 15, 2014

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI was pleased with Germany’s win in the World Cup soccer final, although he did not watch the contest, according to his private secretary.

Archbishop Georg Gänswein told Vatican Radio that while the German members of the retired Pontiff’s staff watched the World Cup final together, Benedict himself was napping. When informed of the result, he reported, Benedict expressed satisfaction that Germany had won—especially because several players were from his native Bavaria—and then added: “I hope the Argentines recover quickly.”

Archbishop Gänswein said that he did not know whether or not Pope Francis had watched the final. The German prelate said that he called the papal household after the game, and expressed his condolence to the Pope’s secretary, Father Fabian Pedacchio Leaniz, who is also a native of Argentina.

Meanwhile the president of FIFA, the international body that organized the World Cup, revealed that he had received a message from Pope Francis, who was enthusiastic about the success of the competition. “He certainly was not happy about Argentina’s defeat,” said Sepp Blatter, “But he told me that football is good because it unites people.”

Although he is an enthusiastic soccer fan, Pope Francis had promised that he would not take a partisan interest in the World Cup.

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  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jul. 15, 2014 10:28 PM ET USA

    So while we on this religion/sports beat, could we have some coverage of the German players attending Mass or otherwise thanking the Lord for winning?

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