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Papal praise for interreligious charity soccer match

Catholic World News - September 02, 2014

Fifty soccer stars took part in an interreligious soccer game in Rome to raise funds for poor children in Buenos Aires.

“Tonight's match will certainly be an occasion to collect funds and support, but above all to reflect on the universal values which football and sport in general can promote: loyalty, sharing, welcoming, dialogue, trust in the other,” Pope Francis, as quoted by the Associated Press, said in an audience with players before the game. “It's about values which join every person regardless of race, culture and religious belief.”

“Religions are called to be vehicles of peace and never of hatred,” he added, according to Vatican Radio. “Religion and sport can collaborate and offer to all of society eloquent signs of this new era in which people ‘will never again raise the sword one against another.’”

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