Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Der Kaiser geht wieder gerne in die Kirche  

Apparently, the private audience in October 2005 which Franz Beckenbauer had with his fellow countryman Pope Benedict XVI had a profound impact upon him. In a recent interview, he described the meeting, and the impact it had upon him:
German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer has told the Munich newspaper Abendzeitung that his October 2005 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) was "the most important experience" of his life.

As chairman of the German committee organizing the 2006 World Cup competition, Beckenbauer met with the Holy Father at the Vatican in October 2005. The encounter made a deep impression on the German athlete, and after the Pope's trip to Bavaria in 2006, Beckenbauer began to immerse himself in the Pope's writings. As a result of his reading, Beckenbauer returned to the active practice of his faith.

"Benedict XVI leads people to the Church," Beckenbauer told Abendzeitung, "and I myself am the best example of that." CWN
I have always been a bit of a Beckenbauer fan. When I was first introduced to soccer as a child, I learned about this legend of the sport. I was able to see him play for a while prior to his hanging up his boots for good. After retiring from playing, he went on to add to his successful career by winning championships from the front office and as a head coach including Germany's last World Cup triumph in 1990.

Of course, this story is fascinating for me because of Beckenbauer, but it is also interesting simply because of the impact that Benedict XVI had on him. Benedict XVI is not considered to be as charismatic as Pope John Paul the Great, but this story points out that it is not the person, but the person who allows the Holy Spirit to work through him. Clearly, the Holy Father has the special charism of the office, and stories like this show the impact that this can have on people who are disposed to meet God through the Holy Father's ministry. This surely seems to be the case foBeckenbauerer who called it "the most important experience" of his life. That is fairly strong statement from someone who could have pointed to a number of personal and professional moments rather than a visit with Benedict XVI.

H/T Open Book

Posted by David at 12:16 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


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