Thursday, March 15, 2012

Soccer still supported by Vatican despite contrary reports

Pontifical offices switch sponsorship of seminarian soccer series

Seminarians from the Pontifical North American College cheer as their soccer team plays Redemptoris Mater during the Clericus Cup in Rome March 3. Rowdy fans were not to blame for a switch in tournament funding from the Pontifical Council for the Laity to the Pontifical Council for Culture. CNS photo/Paul Haring
The popular Clericus Cup soccer series involving seminarians worldwide will continue to receive financial support from the Vatican. Carol Glatz of Catholic News Service cleans up some confusion made by Italian newspapers:

The Pontifical Council for the Laity withdrew its support for a Rome-based seminarian soccer series, not because players and fans were having too much fun, but because organizers weakened their focus on the importance of human formation, said a Vatican official.

Contrary to Italian news reports, the Clericus Cup soccer series "is something we've supported from the beginning and we're happy and pleased seminarians are playing. It has nothing to do with (players or fans) fighting or being too rowdy on the field," said Legionary of Christ Father Kevin Lixey, head of the laity council's church and sport desk.

The council withdrew because the organizers neglected to offer, as they had other years, a seminar aimed at helping the future priests develop values-based sports initiatives and pastoral programs in their parishes, he told Catholic News Service March 15.

However, the Pontifical Council for Culture, which has just opened its own sports desk, has decided to sponsor the Clericus Cup tournament.

Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.
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