Friday, October 28, 2005
Beckenbauer meets with the Pope  

Perhaps if had not been reading David Holford's posting on sports, I would not have considered posting this news item. However, there is something quite fascinating about Franz Beckenbauer. In soccer (Fussball), he has had the magic touch. When Germany defeated Holland in '74, it was a bit of a surprise because the Dutch were so good. He also had European success when the English and the Italians were dominating the continental trophies. After hanging up his boots, he demonstrated that rare ability to translate success as a player into success as a manager. As a manager, he was able to lead both Bayern Muenchen and, of course, the national team to numerous victories, including the World Cup. I am sure that next year's World Cup will also be a success in large part to his having been involved.

In general, it is always interesting to see how people react to meeting with the Holy Father. However, there is an added dimension of interest when it is someone like Beckenbauer. It is easy to forget that he, too, is simply another human being. It seems as if an audience with the Pope reminds people of their humanity and, for those who are open, strikes a deep chord within them.
Franz Beckenbauer, one of Germany's best soccer players ever, was able to meet Benedict XVI and said afterward: "This was one of the most moving moments of my life."

At the end of today's general audience in St. Peter's Square, Beckenbauer got his wish. The Holy Father granted a brief private audience to the Organizing Committee's delegation.

Beckenbauer is president of the German Organizing Committee of the 2006 Soccer World Cup. He wanted to culminate his welcome tour to the 31 countries that have won a place in this championship, by visiting the Pope, a fellow Bavarian.

Beckenbauer took advantage of the occasion to give the Pope a 2006 FIFA World Cup pennant.

Benedict XVI thanked him for the gift and wished him "lots of luck for the World Cup in Germany," adding that "I'll be watching many of the games on TV."

When he was archbishop of Munich, Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope) did not hide his support for the Bayern Munich soccer team.Zenit
Two things to note about this article. First, on a personal level, I was always a 'Gladbach fan as a Protestant. Since becoming Catholic, I have maintained my support for 'Gladbach, but I have also picked up an interest in the more well-known team from Bayern. Second, the Pope has time to watch football matches? I do not feel that I have time to watch any games, although I like to catch a few minutes here and there. My guess is that he is a far better manager of his time.

Posted by David at 4:30 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


Post a Comment