The Pope Meets with Celtic Football Club Members
(Vatican News Network) On Wednesday, November 29, Pope Francis held a brief meeting with members of Celtic Football Club and team executives before his regular public audience. The Pope encouraged them to always maintain the spirit of sports lovers and be role models for young people.
Celtic Football Club lost to Lazio Football Club in the Champions League group stage on the 28th, and during the meeting, the Pope delivered an impromptu speech, saying, “Whether we win or lose, it doesn’t matter. Everyone fights for victory, but victory is not the ultimate goal, it may even be a defeat. Real victory is about teamwork and the process of competing together.”
The Pope urged the team to keep the sports fan spirit alive and to make sports about the love of the game rather than a money-making machine. He expressed concern about the unchecked influence of money in large-scale sports and emphasized the importance of unity and cooperation, which are already ingrained in the DNA of Glasgow Celtic. “Celtic Football Club was founded in 1887 to alleviate poverty in the city of Glasgow. It is a true charity initiative for the benefit of the poorest among our brothers and sisters,” he said.
In addition to maintaining the spirit of sports lovers, Pope Francis also urged the players to be role models for young people. He emphasized that the significance of their actions and words should not be lost, as athletes are often in the spotlight and can have a significant impact on others. The Pope expects them to set a good example, especially for young people, and to demonstrate not only athletic ability but also the integrity of their personalities.
“In this regard,” the pope added, “people should see in you not only good football players, but also people who can be kind and considerate, broad-minded, and able to manage well the many benefits that you have received.”
The Pope’s meeting with Celtic Football Club members serves as a reminder of the values of sportsmanship and the impact that athletes can have on society. For more information, visit www.vaticannews.cn.