Lazio, Formello hosts a solidarity initiative: Pope’s team vs Roma representative

Pope Francis welcomed the proposal of the World Rom Organization, which is based in Zagreb, to organize a football match that relaunches the commitment against racism and discrimination. The initiative was entrusted to …

Pope Francis welcomed the proposal of the World Rom Organization, which is based in Zagreb, to organize a football match that relaunches the commitment against racism and discrimination.

The initiative was entrusted to the Pontifical Council for Culture. The “Team of the Pope-All Brothers” is made up of Swiss guards, Vatican employees, children of Vatican employees, priests who serve in the Secretariat of State, in the Roman Curia and in the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. To testify the concrete commitment to inclusion and the very meaning of the game, with the “Squadra del Papa” three young migrants will play, welcomed by the Community of Sant’Egidio, and a young man with Down syndrome who lives the sporting experience of Special Olympics. Pope Francis personally visited the Lunik IX district on 14 September in Kosice, Slovakia, inviting us to pass “from prejudice to dialogue, from closures to integration”. After listening to the stories of Roma women and men – between pain, redemption and hope – he recalled that “to be Church is to live as one of the summons of God, to feel like owners in life, to be part of the same team”. A language that applies perfectly to the meaning of the friendly soccer match. Too many times, the Pope said in Kosice, the Roma have “been the object of preconceptions and merciless judgments, discriminatory stereotypes, defamatory words and gestures. With this we have all become poorer in humanity”. Pope Francis’ indications on the education of the youngest are the essence of the inclusive sporting experience proposed in Croatia by the World Rom Organization. Children and young people are involved with a method aimed at preventing all forms of marginalization, with particular attention to minorities and people with disabilities. In 2017, the UEFA Foundation for Children recognized and encouraged this education system on soccer fields.

The friendly match will be presented next Tuesday, November 16, at 12.00, at the Vatican press office. Card. Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Msgr. Benoni Ambarus, auxiliary bishop of Rome; Claudio Lotito, president of SS Lazio; Ciro Immobile, captain of the SS Lazio; representatives of the World Rom Organization with Msgr. Giorgio Lingua, apostolic nuncio to Croatia (video link from Zagreb). Among others, the sports director of SS Lazio, Igli Tare, and some members of the “Squadra del Papa-Fratelli tutti” will be present: in particular the three young migrants welcomed by the Community of Sant’Egidio and the young man with Down syndrome.

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Lazio, Formello hosts a solidarity initiative: Pope’s team vs Roma representative

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