OpinionMonday, August 4, 2014
Sporting Pope starts cricket
LONDON — Argentine Pope Francis is a San Lorenzo soccer fanatic. We all know that and he must now have the biggest collection of soccer shirts as people continue to bring him shirts of their favourite club. But less known is that last year, he favoured the idea of forming the St Peters Cricket Club with its league composed of teams of priests and seminarians in Rome coming from leading cricket countries (this was mentioned in the Herald at the time in a paragraph which may have been missed.) Now they have challenged the Church of England to form a team and there are plans to play them at Lord’s (the home of cricket) in London next month.
The aim is to bring religions closer together and to further the Vatican’s idea of sport being good for mind and soul and also of spiritual and educational values. Therefore the Vatican cricket team, which does not play in any league, would also like to face teams of Muslims and Hindus in the near future.
Actually, Australia’s ambassador to the Vatican, John McCarthy, was behind the Idea of forming the club which was expected to have some 300 members. It was being coached by Brother K. M. Joseph, an Indian who had trained a number of future test players at Catholic schools. At the moment, they are using the installations of Rome’s Capannelle Cricket Club.
Back to Argentina and the recent formation of the Club Deportivo Papa Francisco, born in Quilmes and which plays in the Luján soccer league, using as home field that of Claypole. The club started without a proper home and their aim is not only to play soccer, but also to get youngsters off the street.
They named Pope Francis as a founding member and sent him a letter and credential to that effect, including a playing shirt which, obviously has the Vatican colours of yellow an white (as also the above mentioned cricket club).
The club will eventually play in other sports leagues also and they are presently thinking of handball and volleyball, also with women’s teams.
Their wish is for the Pope to visit their (his) club one day. Meanwhile, they want to reach the national soccer championship top division. At least, they do not lack faith.