Pope Francis surprised American Football fans (and – perhaps – commercial junkies?) from across the globe when, in an historic first for a Roman Pontiff, he addressed Super Bowl viewers on Sunday, February 5th.
Reiterating his favorite themes of solidarity, the Holy Father called on fans and participants in sport to “build a culture of encounter and peace,” noting that iconic events like the Super Bowl are a special opportunity for people to draw together.
A translated transcript from the Pope’s message, delivered in his native Spanish:
Great sporting events like today’s Super Bowl are highly symbolic, showing that it is possible to build a culture of encounter and a world of peace.
By participating in sport, we are able to go beyond our own self-interest – and in a healthy way, we learn to sacrifice, to grow in fidelity and respect the rules.
May this year’s Super Bowl be a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity to the world.
Are you watching the Super Bowl? Do you agree with the Pope about sports as a channel for peace? How do we Catholics continue to be salt and light, according to today’s Gospel (Mt 5:13-16), in a culture of popular fixation on celebrity, professional sports and entertainment?