Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

Pontiff gives World Cup a miss

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jul 04, 2006

From a wire service story earlier today.

VAL D'AOSTA, 4 July 2006 [RNN] "I have no time for such foolishness," Pope Benedict XVI responded curtly, when asked by journalists whether he would support the team of his native Germany or that of his adopted Italy in today's World Cup soccer match. "I'll be watching the Tigers and A's on pay-per-view."

The 264th Successor of Peter explained that his somewhat surprising patronage of Detroit's baseball team had its origins in 1964.

"I was a professor at M√ľnster at the time, but gophering at the Council for Josef Frings of Cologne, who had a fair to good change-up and a wicked back-door slider. He clued me in to the Tigers because of the fact that their entire bullpen were righties. My loyalty has never wavered. I still know the '64 line-up by heart: Al Kaline, Norm Cash, Bill Freehan ..."

The former cardinal and theologian joked that his own scholarship was indebted to the American League club. "I did my Habilitationsschrift on Bonaventure, " he reminisced, "a name that means 'good fortune' in Latin. It was criticised for not showing enough influence from the Left. So I dedicated it to Mickey Lolich, who as it happens also wrote the Foreword for the Crossroads edition. And he went 18 and 9 that year!"

Pope Benedict declined to speculate on the outcome of today's Tigers-Athletics match-up, but made it clear where his sympathies lie: "Haren's on the mound for Oakland, but Verlander's starting for Detroit. And I like Verlander."

Asked to explain, His Holiness gave a wry smile: "The boy throws a four-seam heater, and I'm a four-seam Pope."

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