It is the sort of story that makes every Catholic grin. (From MSNBC)
“Vatican kicks off clerical soccer tournament More than 300 priests, seminarians playing in Clericus Cup through June.
“The game had its share of hard tackles and rough play, with the first goal coming from a penalty kick — the second in the match.
Still, in the end it was all handshakes and smiles between the teams, in what officials and players hope will set a good example for Italian professional soccer, which has been recently marred by fan violence and scandal.
The Clericus Cup should “reaffirm the educational and pastoral value of sport,” and “strengthen feelings of true friendship and fruitful sharing,” said a message from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s No. 2 official.”’
It evokes the iconic image of the nun in the long flowing habit kicking the dust up behind her as she rounds second base. It humanizes and endears the clergy. Something that we need at times. The world at large too often dehumanizes our clergy. They chose either to view them as holy and pompous characters only visible at the alter or worse demons who do vile things in the shadows of the sacristy. The reality is so different. Men who have vices like we all do, but who have found and are living out vocations, separated slightly from the masses yet living right here among us. Most Catholics get this. I hope a little soccer will make it more apparent to the rest of the world.