Pope Benedict XVI isn't taking sides: report

4th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

4 July 2006, VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI won't be taking sides in Tuesday evening's World Cup semi-final between his homeland Germany and his adopted home Italy, according to media reports.

4 July 2006

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI won't be taking sides in Tuesday evening's World Cup semi-final between his homeland Germany and his adopted home Italy, according to media reports.

The on-line edition of Italian daily La Repubblica, citing "sources close to the pontiff", said it was also uncertain whether Joseph Ratzinger would interrupt his busy work schedule to follow the match on television.

"The only aspect that the pope is concerned about is that sport prevail over nationalism," Bishop Josef Clemens, who acted as Ratzinger's secretary for 20 years while the pope headed the Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told Vatican Radio.

Vatican officials also denied recent reports suggesting Benedict had set up a giant screen in his papal office to follow other World Cup matches.

DPA

Subject: German news

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