Quam bonum et iucundum…

… habitare fratres in unum.

Thus spake the psalmist.  (Ps 133)

This is a couple days old, I know, but it is still fun.

Priests get rowdy in Vatican soccer game

Two teams of priests ended all hopes for a peaceful soccer match when their Vatican City league match included penalties and one hospital visit.

Despite a pre-game plea for fair play from Cardinal Pio Laghi, Saturday’s soccer match between the Brazilian students from Pontifical Gregorian University and a Mexican team of trainee priests from Mater Ecclesiae seminary quickly turned violent, the Daily Telegraph said.

"You are in sight of St Peter’s, so behave!" Laghi said before the game.

The referee had been asked to use blue penalty cards primarily to assess violations, but he wound up issuing two yellow cards for major penalties.

The low-point may have come when one player had to be assisted off the field by an ambulance crew.

The Mexicans of Mater Ecclesiae and their appropriately named goalie, Jesus, won the match, 6-0.

Who says we don’t take our work seriously here?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Sean says:

    But would Jesus the goalkeeper have been effective against an Argentinian-style ‘hand of God’?

  2. Stu says:

    Work hard, play hard.

  3. Zach says:

    Actually, I think this is horrible. This is absolutely no way for seminarians to act!

  4. “O quam bonum et jucundum, est habitare cum fratribus in unum.” I first learned this verse as a young man from my Dad as — of all things — a toast!

  5. Andrew says:


    You’re absolutely right. This is shameful. Instead of these violent sports they should engage in some useful and refined activity such as – I don’t know – crochet or something!

  6. Jacob S says:

    I would rather they be fistfighting over the liturgy than over soccer, then we could get some things done! At least no one was killed. Doesn’t anyone remember that boys will be boys when it comes to sports?

  7. Zach says:

    Boys will be boys? That’s the crappiest excuse I’ve ever heard. I’ll have to remember that excuse in the confessional in the future when a penatent comes to me confessing sins of the flesh and outbursts of violence.

    …”well Joe, don’t worry about it. Boy’s will be boys.” Oh brother!

  8. Seamas O Dalaigh says:

    6-0? And this was a soccer game?

  9. fxr2 says:

    I am not a priest just a cop. I try hard to be and to raise my five children as traditional Roman Catholics. Although I usually regard soccer as a game for little girls, I find it very refreshing that there are seminarians, at least from Central and South America, who are masculine enough to participate in a competitive sport other than tiddlywinks. There is no indication of a fight or anything untoward in this game. There were two yellow cards but I do not believe that to be unusual in your normal soccer match.
    Upon ordination these masculine young men will:
    a. Be the future of the Roman Catholic Church
    b. Be the roll models that my boys might follow into the priesthood
    c. Replace the mostly effeminate priests that staff our parishes today
    Was it not St Peter, himself, who drew his sword and struck one of the soldiers that were taking our Lord away in the garden? Jesus stopped St. Peter and healed the soldier’s ear, but let us not forget who was selected to lead His Church on Earth.

    Father Z:
    I apologize if I am out of line. I do not mean to offer less respect than due to any of the fine men who freely dedicate their lives to the Roman Catholic Church as priests. I recognize that all priests have made onerous sacrifices and bring to us our Lord’s Body and Blood in the mass. Perhaps I am greedy for wishing them to be men, for all their sinfulness, as well.


  10. Zach: Now that you have i.d.’d yourself as a priest, remain anonymous if you wish, but kindly do us the courtesy of using the title, at least in your comments, as well so that people know who they are dealing with with conversing with you.

    Also, my previous statement stands. Relax. No one is suggesting that “boys will be boys” is an “excuse” for whatever sins might have been committed. And from the news reports we have no idea at all if any mortal sins were committed. We all know the requirements for mortal sin. Do you know the state of soul of those who were more than likely in a pretty emotional game (Brazilians v. Mexicans playing calcio in Italy under the eyes of the Press, lot’s of prelates and peers)? One can argue that those involved should have greater mental and emotional discipline. I guess that means that seminarians are already supposed to perfectly formed already when the enter seminary, rather than receive ongoing formation while actually in seminary.

    Besides, when I was active in team sports lots of us got injured without it having been the result of mortal sin.

    Look. This was a game, it got rough, the press used the moment. Big deal.

    Thus, to my point, “boys will be boys” is an explanation, not an excuse.

  11. FXR2: Not at all. Thanks for bring up Peter. Although (pun alert:) that example cuts both ways. Peter was obviously zealous, but the Lord did rebuke him afterwards and then corrected the damage. We have to live and learn. We are not all perfect without having made mistakes along the way.

  12. Jon says:

    The mortal sin here is getting that excited over a…yawn!…soccer game.

    Say, only twenty-eight days till that first pitch. Now there’s i> a reason to get excited ;^)

  13. Andrew says:

    Oh yes! To be watching heavy set guys in striped PJ’s chewing tobacco. Can hardly wait.

    (I know, I know … this is the wrong place to make such statements: gather the stones!)

  14. RBrown says:

    The mortal sin here is getting that excited over a…yawn!…soccer game.

    It’s the most popular sport in the world, but I doubt that the pro game will ever really catch on in the States because there isn’t enough scoring.

  15. Jon says:

    “but I doubt that the pro game will ever really catch on in the States”

    Just another reason to God bless America!

  16. Jon says:


    “Oh yes! To be watching heavy set guys in striped PJ’s chewing tobacco. Can hardly wait.”

    Hasn’t Father told you? Heretics aren’t tolerated on this blog!

  17. Two yellow cards?

    Anyone familiar with soccer could tell you that two yellow cards is hardly indicative of a violent game.

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