Pope Francis gives a shoutout to 2022 FIFA World Cup 


Pope Francis holds a soccer ball in St. Peter’s Square during the Wednesday general audience on Aug. 26, 2015. L’Osservatore Romano.

Rome Newsroom, Nov 23, 2022 / 03:48 am (CNA).

Pope Francis gave a shoutout to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar at the end of his weekly audience on Wednesday.

Speaking to a crowd of people from around the world Nov. 23, the pope expressed his hope the international soccer competition would foster fraternity and peace.

“I wish to send my greetings to the players, fans and spectators who are following, from various continents, the World Cup, which is being played in Qatar,” he said in St. Peter’s Square.

“May this important event,” he continued, “be an occasion of encounter and harmony among nations, fostering fraternity and peace among peoples.”

Pope Francis added to his appeal for peace, asking for prayers for an end to all conflicts, especially the conflict in Ukraine.

He highlighted the upcoming anniversary, Nov. 26, of Holodomor, also known as the Terror-Famine or the Great Famine, a man-made famine that took place in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933.

Pope Francis praying at the general audience on St. Peter's Square. Daniel Ibáñez / CNA
Pope Francis praying at the general audience on St. Peter’s Square. Daniel Ibáñez / CNA

Francis called Holodomor a “terrible genocide” and an “extermination by starvation,” which was artificially caused by Joseph Stalin.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is being played in the State of Qatar, an emirate on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18.

The choice of Qatar as host country for the men’s soccer tournament has been criticized due to conditions in the country, including the situation of Christians.

Bishop Stefan Oster of Passau, who is the current sports commissioner of the German Bishops’ Conference, said in a statement published Nov. 17 that he did not want to give soccer fans “a bad conscience,” even if people were “asking how it came about that Qatar, of all places, was chosen by FIFA as the host country 12 years ago.”

“Non-Islamic religions, including Christianity, which are strongly represented among migrant workers, are granted freedom only to a limited extent,” the German prelate said.

Oster also said the role of women was “set back” and sexual minorities were prosecuted.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Catholic News Agency 9046 Articles
Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.