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Pope Francis: audience, appeal for FIFA World Cup in Russia

foto SIR/Marco Calvarese

“May this important sporting event be an occasion for encounter, dialogue and brotherhood between different religions and cultures, and foster solidarity and peace among nations”. Pope Francis made this appeal at the end of his Wednesday Audience today, before greeting the Italian-speaking faithful. “Tomorrow, the world football championship will kick off in Russia”, Pope Francis recalled: “I wish to send my cordial greetings to the football players and organizers, as well as to all those who will be following this event that overcomes every barrier through the social media”. Among the Italian pilgrims, the Pope greeted in particular the new priests from the Diocese of Brescia and the faithful from the parish of “San Pietro in Abbadia” in Montepulciano, accompanied by their Bishop, Mgr. Stefano Manetti. Then, as he did in his off-the-cuff remarks at the beginning of his catechesis, he mentioned again the Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church and Patron of the poor. “May he teach you the beauty of sincere and selfless love”, he said, greeting the young people, the elderly, the sick and the newly-weds: “Only if you love as he loved can those around you no longer feel marginalized, and at the same time, you will grow stronger in the trials of life”.

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