World Cup final: It's Pope versus Pope
Pope Francis looks pretty confident, don't ya think?
July 9th, 2014
12:51 PM ET

World Cup final: It's Pope versus Pope

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN)– Will the World Cup final become a "Holy War"?

At the very least, Sunday's match could put millions of Catholics - not to mention Vatican employees - in a bit of a bind.

Will they root for Argentina, the homeland of Pope Francis, who is known to be an ardent soccer aficionado? Or will they back Germany, the native country of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, also a football fan?

And what about the Big Referee Upstairs? Whose prayers will he heed when the game is on the line?

Germany reached the final match on Tuesday by blowing out Brazil, the host country. Argentina beat the Netherlands on Wednesday afternoon.

Of course, both Popes (not to mention God) have more important things on their minds. But the pontiffs have also said that sports can be more than fun and games.

"The sport of football can be a vehicle of education for the values of honesty, solidarity and fraternity, especially for the younger generation," Benedict told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper back in 2008.

His successor, Francis has echoed those remarks, and even promised not to pray for Argentina.

But a Catholic who met Pope Francis this week to discuss more serious matters said that the pontiff seemed to be secretly pulling for his home team.

"He absolutely wants for Argentina to win," Peter Saunders, a victim of sexual abuse from England who met Francis on Monday, told the Boston Globe. "He didn’t say it out loud, but you could see it in his eyes, he’s a closet fan."

And earlier this month, before Argentina played Switzerland, Francis jokingly told his Swiss Guards, "It's going to be war!"

It will be interesting to see what the Vatican says about the Argentina-Germany matchup. The men are known to be close, with Francis saying he and Benedict "are brothers."

Maybe the "brothers" will put a little wager on the high-stakes soccer match, or maybe this just means that God has a really good sense of humor.

On Thursday, Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi dashed hopes for a World Cup papal watch party, but left often the possibility that something could be afoot.

"We'll see in the coming days," Lombardi told reporters.



- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Argentina • Brazil • Catholic Church • Church and state • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Social media • Sports • Vatican

soundoff (661 Responses)
  1. Dyslexic doG

    Exodus 35:2
    Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.

    As the soccer players get paid, why aren't Christians calling for their deaths?
    As the Announcers and cameramen get paid, why aren't Christians calling for their deaths?
    As the people are working at the football field, why aren't Christians calling for their deaths?

    Just one more example of the bible not being the word of god but being a book you can pick and choose from as your lifestyle allows.

    What a joke!

    July 10, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
    • workingcopy12

      For those of you new to this site, doG likes to take quotes out of context on a regular basis. He pretends (pretends because he knows full well he is taking the verse out of context) that the Old Testament laws apply to Christians (as if the New Testament never existed). Christ said: ""The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath." Mark 2:27 (NLT). I firmly believe God still wants us to a take regular, dedicated time out each week to honor Him–but He no longer requires that we devote "the 7th day" without work as doG would have you believe. Bad doG! Go to your corner.

      July 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
      • Reality

        And your god revealed this to you how?

        And there seems some debate as to whether Jesus even uttered the words of Mark 2:27. e.g. http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb220.html

        And then of course, there was no Exodus if you believe 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis. Details previously given.

        And as noted many times before:

        Jesus was either disturbed mentally (thought he changed water into wine, talked to Satan et. al) or was made into some kind of first century CE magic man by M, M, L and J so who really cares what he did or had to say??

        July 10, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          Honestly, you are such a bore.

          If doG gets to accuse Christians of being hypocrites because of how they act vis a vis the Old Testament, I then get to use the New Testament to show that we are acting in conformity with Christ's words. Now, if it turns out you are correct (but your not), that doesn't make my a hypocrite, it only means I was duped into believing something that wasn't true (although it is).

          That said, I'll address your argument about Christ being mentally ill–your statement being that He believed he changed water to wine–where in the N.T. does it say that Christ believed that? The point is, the gospels were put to writing several years after Christ's death (although the oral history was immediate). Isn't the point that someone else believed that Christ changed water to wine? Why did they believe that? Can you answer that with proof, or are you left to conclude only res ipsa loquiter that they are mentally ill?

          July 10, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          ...(but you're not)...

          July 10, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • Reality

          The water into wine "miracle" (John 2: 1-11) is pure fabrication by fiction writer John who we know almost nothing about. All of John's gospel is now believed to be historically nil. Details previously presented.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        So christians are not bound by the OT? Goodbye 10 commandments.

        July 10, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        So despite what scripture tells us, you actually think that your personal interpretation makes any difference to others ?
        Of course YOUR interpretation is the correct one, (as EVERYONE else thinks too). Yawn.

        July 10, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          and certainly no Christian would even consider the interpretation(s) of the unregenerate like yourself.

          July 11, 2014 at 8:37 am |
        • realbuckyball

          lost and unregenerate scott :
          Pro tip : when you call names, you look weak and helpless, and do your cause no favors. At least try to cook up a reason or two.

          July 11, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • awanderingscot

          no bucky, i applied a descriptive adjective to you.

          July 11, 2014 at 10:34 am |
      • alonsoquixote

        We've all heard how Yahweh became a much nicer god after he sacrificed himself in the form of the "Son" to himself in the form of the "Father", so that he rescinded many of the dictates he once levied on his followers regarding all those, such as those who work on the Sabbath, witches, adulterers, unruly sons, etc., he wanted killed. After that he then rejected his former favorites, the Jews who didn't accept that their god was now a triune god who would consign all those who didn't believe he incarnated himself in human form through a Jewish virgin to eternal torment. Now he requires any who want to escape eternal torture by him to believe that story, despite any credible evidence for the story. So maybe he is still the same petty, vengeful, deity of the Old Testament, even though Christians claim they don't have to kill all the people he once wanted his former favorites to kill.

        Miracle stories, such as the one regarding turning water into wine in the Wedding at Cana story in the Gospel of John were attempts to make Jesus' life story as impressive as those of other deities of the time who had miraculous birth and resurrection stories or who, like Asclepius, could bring the dead back to life or turn water into wine as could Dionysus. Even many prominent Christian theologians have recognized that the water into wine story was borrowed from stories of Dinoysus. E.g., from Jesus Against Christianity: Reclaiming the Missing Jesus by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer:

        John's desperation includes placing a bizarre miracle story, the wedding at Cana, near the beginning of his Gospel (2:1-11). Jesus yells at his mother and then performs a miracle so that wedding guests already plastered on bad wine can continue guzzling one of higher quality. John appropriated this miracle story about Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, and attached it to Jesus. As Rudolf Bultmann notes, "No doubt the story has been borrowed from pagan legends and transferred to Jesus." John tells us whey he did this in verse 11, and he attributes his logic to Jesus: "Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. Uta Ranke-Heinemann writes that John has "transformed Jesus into a sort of Christian wine God." This depiction of Jesus is formalized by the celebration of Epiphany on January 6, the traditional feast day of Dionysus.

        Uta Ranke-Heinemann is a German theologian, academic and author who holds the (nondenominational) chair of History of Religion at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen. Rudolf Bultmann (1884 – 1976) was a German Lutheran theologian and professor of New Testament at the University of Marburg in Germany, who was a prominent 20th century Christian theologian.

        July 10, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Rudolph Bultman was a great writer. He wrote "Jesus Christ and Mythology". He said it didn't matter really whether Jesus as we think of him really existed. What was important was the "meme". He understood that "mythology" was how the ancients transmitted what they thought was "truth", which is something Fundie literalists just can't wrap their childish minds around.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Uta Ranke-Heinemann wrote a book condemning "oppression of women" in the church and western society. she is yet another heretic in the latest wave of the antiChrist. strong Christians will have no problem at all discounting her or her theological credentials. as for you sir, you obviously are unregenerate and are not able to follow the bouncing ball from the OT to the NT. your prattle is unconvincing and worthless here.

          July 11, 2014 at 8:48 am |
        • alonsoquixote

          awanderingscot, you wrote:

          Ranke-Heinemann wrote a book condemning "oppression of women" in the church and western society. she is yet another heretic in the latest wave of the antiChrist.

          In regards to your comment, I think it is interesting to note that the first Christian executed for heresy once Christians had gained political power and could use that power to eliminate those with dissenting views was Priscillian, bishop of Ávila in Spain, who was executed in 385 CE. Priscillian welcomed women as equals of men and encouraged them to participate in ministry; among other decrees, the synod that was convened to condemn him decreed that women were forbidden to join with men during the time of prayer. Priscillian was tortured and beheaded, along with a number of his followers.

          Many other Christian theologians besides Rulolf Bultmann and Uta Ranke-Heinemann have linked stories of Dionysus substi_tution of wine for water and the Wedding in Cana story. E.g., see pages 115 to 116 in the article After Six Days: A New Clue for Gospel Critics by Benjamin W. Bacon in the Harvard Theological Review Volume VIII (1915) from the Harvard Divinity School

          Why suppose that Jn. 2 1-11 was written to fit the occasion?

          The answer is apparent to all who know the real antiquity of the Feast of the Epiphany, and the nature of its pre-Christian observance. For January 6 was not chosen to commemorate the Baptism of Jesus and Manifestation ("Epiphany") of his divine power because of a historical tradition that he was actually baptized on January 6, any more than December 25 was chosen because of a historical tradition that the dies invicti solis happened to be Jesus' real birthday. The date, January 6, was chosen because in Egypt and throughout the oriental world it had been from time immemorial the feast of the "Epiphany of Dionysus," the god of returning light and life. The proof that Jn. 2 1-11 is written with an eye to the celebration of this Feast of Epiphany (in Christianized from) and not conversely, is the fact that the "Beginning of Miracles" substi_tuted by the fourth evangelist for the Markan exorcisms and healings in Capernaum is an unmistakable parallel to the wonders told in Egypt, Arabia, Phoenicia, Ionian, and doubtless elsewhere also, of the Epiphany of Dionysus. For as Pliny, Pausanias, and a host of writers both heathen and Christian make clear, the turning of water to wine at his festival on January 5-6 was the typical wonder of the god of the vine. In some sanctuaries of the god the miracle was performed on water contained in stone or brass receptacles; in other localities the spring or stream itself was turned to wine on the anniversary.

          Benjamin W. Bacon (1860-1932) was an American professor of New Testament criticism and exegesis at Yale Divinity School. He was also editor of the American Journal of Theology. The journal issue can be freely obtained from Google Books; the referenced pages can be viewed at books.google.com/books?id=v5lJAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA115#v=onepage&q&f=false

          You also wrote "you obviously are unregenerate and are not able to follow the bouncing ball from the OT to the NT." Many early Christians, such as the Gnostics and Marcionites, who were once quite numerous, saw the Old Testament deity as a lesser, evil deity, a demiurge. The Valentinians, another group of early Christians, saw the demiurge as mistakenly believing he was the Supreme God. Some groups of early Christians, e.g., Ebionites and Nazarenes, believed that all were required to follow the Mosaic law. There were many Christian sects with many competing beliefs. The views held by most Christians today are the result of political and theological struggles that occurred in the centuries after Christianity's creation owing much to the willingness of some Christians to brutally suppress competing views, often by slaughtering those who they branded as heretics.

          The Judaizers, such as Ebionites and Nazarenes, lost in the struggle against adherents of the Pauline version of Christianity. Doubtless, if the Pauline version of Christianity had not prevailed Christianity would have remained an obscure syncretistic religion melding Pagan beliefs with Judaism, since it would have attracted far fewer adherents. So thus we find Christians today declaring that they can ignore the dictates in the Old Testament where Yahweh commands his followers to kill all of those listed below and more:

          Kill witches – Exodus 22:18
          Kill gays – Leviticus 20:13
          Kill those who worship other gods than Yahweh – Deuteronomy 17
          Kill people who don't obey Yahweh's priests – Deuteronomy 17:12
          Kill adulterers – Leviticus 20:10
          Kill stubborn and rebellious sons – Deuteronomy 21:18-21
          Kill those who work on the Sabbath – Exodus 31:15 and Exodus 35:2

          Thankfully, most Christians today do choose to believe that Yahweh rescinded those dictates, if they are even aware of them, in the first century by assuming human form to be offered as a sacrifice to himself to ameliorate the ancient curse he placed on the first humans, and all of their descendants for untold generations thereafter, because they ate of the "one forbidden thing", the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, he planted in Eden with them, and simply ignore the parts of the Old Testament even most Christians today would find morally reprehensible.

          Though the Pauline version of Christianity became the dominant version, some of those Old Testament edicts were followed by Christians for many centuries, e.g., the ones about killing witches and ho_mose_xuals (in England the last executions for sodomy were those of James Pratt and John Smith conducted in 1835). Unfortunately, in some parts of Africa still to this day some are burned to death as witches or killed because of their se_xual orientation. Even today in the U.S., there are "blue laws" in some states restricting activities that can be performed on Sundays. Earlier in the country's history, such laws were even stricter. The Puritans, who were strict Sabbatarians, forbid even recreational activities on the Sabbath. Once they established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the New World they forced everyone within it to conform to their religious views. In 1635 a group of Puritan ministers drafted a code of law, Moses' Judicials, which called for anyone who broke the stricture against working on the Sabbath to be put to death. Their code of law wasn't adopted, but in 1648, the General Court published The Book of General Laws and Liberties which made church attendance mandatory on the Sabbath and outlawed the denial of the morality of the Sabbath. People were flogged, put in stocks, and made to pay steep fines for breaking the Sabbath with court records showing arrests, fines, and admonishments for catching eels on Sunday, wringing out laundry, and sitting under an apple tree with a beloved on the Sabbath.

          Between 1659 and 1661, the Puritans did hang three Quakers, who became known as the "Boston Martyrs". The Puritans regarded Quakers as heretics. Among other differences, the Quakers had a different view of the Sabbath, regarding all days as equally holy, and refused to appear at the Puritan Sunday worship services, holding their own meetings instead.

          The bouncing ball you cite still bounces differently for different Christians. Differences still continue over the applicability of Old Testament dictates, and New Testament ones as well, with believers often cherry-picking those they think still apply and choosing to ignore those with which they'd rather not comply.

          Prior postings you have made stating "the end is near", the age of the Earth, and your reference to the antichrist from the 1st and 2nd Epi_stles of John, which may have been authored by the same person as the Gospel of John, and branding those who disagree with you as unregenerate remind me of the early New England Puritan minister Cotton Mather (1663 – 1728). From Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession by Robert C. Fuller, Professor of Religious Studies Bradley University:

          The demons that Cotton feared in his inner life also populated his public ministry. He, like his father, considered pulpit-inspired fear of God's wrath to be the principal bulwark against the moral declension rampant throughout the colonies. It was Cotton Mather's sacred vocation to rail against sinners and to decry every social or economic trend that might fan the flames of lust and pleasure. This may, in part, explain the fervency which which he believed that the end was imminent. Millennial rhetoric provided a convenient homiletic device with which to threaten unregenerate souls with the fate that would await them if Revelation's Book of Life failed to include their names. Mather's eschatology held together his entire theological system by providing its ultimate reference and dramatize the ultimate grounds for embracing Christianity's gospel of salvation. Millennial faith gave Mather assurance that the sufferings of the elect would cease and the unregenerate would receive their just deserts. Christ would come and catch the world unsuspecting (i.e., except for those who listened to Mather predict first 1697, then 1716, and finally 1736 as the certain year prophesied in scripture for the Son of Man's return).

          Mather's speculations about that return were tied to his notions regarding the Antichrist, which can be found in The American Pietism of Cotton Mather: Origins of American Evangelicalism by Richard F. Lovelace

          Cotton Mather is most famous for his role in fanning the flames that led to the Salem witchcraft trials which resulted in the hangings of 19 people, most of them women, and death by Peine forte et dure of Giles Corey. Of those trials, Mather wrote in his book Wonders of the Invisible World:

          If in the midst of the many Dissatisfaction among us, the publication of these Trials may promote such a pious Thankfulness unto God, for Justice being so far executed among us, I shall Re-joyce that God is Glorified...

          July 13, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Comparative mythology.
          Historical perspective.
          These are studies for unregenerate heretics! Right Scot?
          Remember – the sin for which humankind is forever cursed is attaining knowledge.
          God doesn't want us to ask silly questions, just your obsequious submission.

          July 11, 2014 at 9:19 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Ranke-Heinemann wrote a book condemning "oppression of women" in the church and western society. she is yet another heretic in the latest wave of the antiChrist. strong Christians will have no problem at all discounting her or her theological credentials. as for you sir, you obviously are unregenerate and are not able to follow the bouncing ball from the OT to the NT. your prattle is unconvincing and worthless here.

          One small problem. You forgot to provide even ONE reason to support your opinions.
          "Unregenerate" ? So YOU get to decide ? You get to do what your Jebus told you NOT to do ? Judge ? I though your god was the judge ? You think you are a god Scott ? So if someone has a differing opinion that makes them "unregenerate" ? I see. Your little Club of Righteousness is a bit too small, Church Lady.

          July 11, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • awanderingscot

          "Remember – the sin for which humankind is forever cursed is attaining knowledge."

          – no D0C, once again you show yourself to be spiritually dead and thus no discernment. the original sin was the attempt to exalt oneself above God. very similar to what hatetheists like yourself do today.

          July 11, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • awanderingscot

          no bucky, you judge yourself, can't blame anyone else.

          July 11, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • realbuckyball

          no bucky, you judge yourself, can't blame anyone else.

          Thanks for demonstrating yet again the mental gymnastics believers ca , do to contort and justify absolutely anything for themselves they wish.

          July 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
      • kudlak

        "Needs of the people" applied to such basic needs as feeding oneself, providing for your animals and such, correct? Work was to be avoided on the Sabbath. I may be a big football fan, but since when is a World Cup match considered a "need"?

        July 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • tallulah131

        And there you have it: A prime example of why there are over 30,000 different denominations of christianity. Every christian interprets the bible so that it suits their needs.

        July 12, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
    • Salero21

      Oh there goes again the dyslexic!

      Typical chicanery of an atheist who is extremely hypocritical and a Compulsive Liar. One second he does not believes in God, rejects the Bible as God's Word, but then the next second he/she wants to turn around like a wheel and pretend to use quotes from the same Bible, he/she/it previously rejected. Really, really! Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows the Sabbath was given as a sign TO and FOR ISRAEL of the Covenant God made with THEM and with nobody else. The church (not the RCC), the believers in Christ are NOT under that Covenant or in charge of "Enforcing" ANY part of that Covenant. Though we ARE NOT Lawless we're under THE NEW Covenant of Grace.

      See this is why a MUST remind them [atheist] that atheism is Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE. And atheists are extreme hypocrites and Compulsive, pathological Liars. And the dyslexic is a PRIME example a DEMONstration of it all.

      July 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        pssssst : Pro tip Sally : Pointing out inconsistencies in an old book does not require belief in same.

        July 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • Salero21

          Psst... your ignorance and lack of understanding of the Book, due to you atheism which is Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE is showing. That type of chicanery and shenanigans is Unacceptable. If you don't believe then you can't turn around with such pretense. Either you believe or don't believe, otherwise is hypocrisy the stuff of what Charlatans are made of.

          July 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          psssst Pro tip #2 :
          If you assert something you have to support it with a reason.
          When you start school, Sally, they'll explain all that hard stuff to you.
          Now run out and play.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Salero21's Law : (also known as "Sally's Law")
          If you CAPITALIZE a word, that makes it TRUE.
          Makes PERFECT sense.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          there you go again mr. copy and paste. 1) we don't need to prove anything to an unregenerate 2) your heretical revisionist history you love to copy and paste is just that and won't sway a man of God. 3) but if you feel rewarded by your mockery, by all means go ahead since it's like watching a blind man try to play soccer and you're always good for a laugh.

          July 11, 2014 at 9:08 am |
        • midwest rail

          "...and won't sway a man of God."
          And you're SUCH a shining example.

          July 11, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Thanks MidWest, but you would not know personally since you are a blind unregenerate.

          July 11, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • midwest rail

          You are quite welcome. The evidence on these pages points to your being a fine representative of contemporary evangelicalism . Arrogant, condescending, and hateful.

          July 11, 2014 at 9:39 am |
        • realbuckyball

          there you go again mr. copy and paste. 1) we don't need to prove anything to an unregenerate

          I thought Jebus told you not to lie. You have NEVER ONCE found anything I've said as "copy-pasta". You're just jealous, as you have nothing original to contribute, and are very weak in your faith. You cannot tolerate intelligent people having intelligent discussions. So you resort to calling names ("unregenerate" ... did someone teach you that word yesterday, and it sounds all big and intelligent ? ... so you use it how many times today ? Like 10 ?

          July 11, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • awanderingscot

          no bucky, you copy and paste all the time and you are most definitely unregenerate.

          July 11, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • realbuckyball

          no bucky, you copy and paste all the time and you are most definitely unregenerate.

          Prove it.
          Lying for Jebus again ? My my. Religion has done a lot for you I see, Church Lady.
          Who and when exactly did someone give you the magic powers to judge people you don't know ?

          July 12, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
      • kudlak

        One can quote from Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto without actually believing in any of what they contain, correct?

        July 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
  2. brainwashedinchurch

    The only losers are those who take the pope and the catholic (or any) church seriously. I have more respect for a hungry man robbing someone in order to feed his family. At least he's rational.

    July 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
    • Salero21

      Your brain was never washed, is still very dirty. Or it was washed with dirty waters in the gutters.

      July 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
      • kudlak

        So, you're in favour of brainwashing then?

        July 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
  3. evidencenot

    What came to mind when I read this article is that old plastic kids toy "Rock'em Sock'em Robots" only with plastic Popes.

    July 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
    • LaBella

      "You knocked my block off!"

      July 10, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
  4. abcontador

    religion is evil

    July 10, 2014 at 11:19 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      So are white fluffy cats... and don't even get me started on "Light" beer...

      July 10, 2014 at 11:54 am |
      • workingcopy12

        Its nice to be able to agree–Light beer is evil.

        July 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
  5. dman6015

    Forget Current Pope vs. Former Pope. It's going to be Current Germans vs. Former Germans!!!

    July 10, 2014 at 10:16 am |
    • Reality

      Good point !!

      July 10, 2014 at 10:49 am |
    • Dyslexic doG


      July 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • Salero21

      Pretty Ignorant statement; considering that Argentina's ethnicities are mostly Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French with the Germans and their descendants estimated at just over 4 millions or less than 10%. That in a country of 42 millions. The Argentinian Government does not conduct studies of, neither ask questions about "ethnicities", in their census. Therefore "Official" estimates are not readily available, unlike in the US.

      July 10, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        What's the percentage of Germans in other Latin American countries?

        July 10, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • Salero21

          The ABC countries, Argentina, Brazil & Chile have the highest, but still estimates are less than 10%. There're towns and cities where pop. may be 50% or more German ancestry. In Brazil Joinville is one and is available in Google Street View. There is a town in southern Chile and in Venezuela Colonia Tovar with same characteristics.

          They're not as good in their Census as the US. And, like in the case of Argentina they don't ask those questions when they do; If the do a Census at all. Is all estimates based on immigration data. Reliable data is NOT easy to find online.

          If your're really interested for some serious research, you may want to contact their Embassies, Consulates, UN delegates, specialized websites, Colleges, Universities sites et al etc. etc. Regards.

          July 11, 2014 at 12:42 am |
  6. pokernicus

    This headline is so ridiculous; it annoys me.

    July 10, 2014 at 8:48 am |
    • belasontom


      July 10, 2014 at 9:29 am |
    • Salero21

      It's intended for fans of the real Football and for Catholics, just for effect, like a promo. Get it?

      July 10, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
  7. saggyroy

    They both win. They get to watch virile young sweaty mean running around in shorts. A papal dream come true.

    July 10, 2014 at 6:12 am |
    • json

      You need to polish up on your spelling.. that being said, come on.. this is all clean fun, why say something mean like that?

      July 10, 2014 at 7:52 am |
      • saggyroy

        I find nothing about popes "good clean fun". To me, they are disgustingly evil. It might have been fun if it was about Canada v. Belgium (Maple Syrup v. Waffles). But that's just me.

        July 11, 2014 at 5:37 am |
  8. bellaterra66

    Mr. Burke, the next time you are tempted to write an article like this - don't do it.

    July 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
    • colin31714

      Why not. A bit of levity on a situation that has never happened before and will never happen again in World history. You could do better?

      July 9, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
  9. vacavalier

    The Odessa Cup...

    July 9, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
  10. Salero21

    Well, well what did you know!! It's going to be Argentina vs. Germany in the Final after all.

    Well there's a connection between both countries going back to the days of WW2 and after. When many NAZIS fled to Argentina among other countries in LA. Then there's the Fascist connection between SA dictators, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Popes and Cardinals of the RCC. Well is a long, long story. Just Google the aforementioned names.

    July 9, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I have to admit that Godwin's Law was the first thing I thought of when I saw the picture of the two of them together, even if it is inappropriate in the case of Pope Francis.

      July 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
    • rickcor2014

      My great-grandparents moved to Argentina way before WWII. In Fact, most Germans in Argentina came before WWI.

      July 10, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
      • Salero21

        Good point well made and taken! I was talking however about a more specific period of history. More closely related to the generation of the two popes in the article. There're also german descendants in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela. Argentina's leaders refused to help in WW2 against Hitler. Peron was a Fascist and until a few years ago photos of Hitler were still found in Argentine's army barracks.

        July 10, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      It's "Well well, what DO you know" Sally. "F" again in English. Are you repeating 3rd Grade this Fall again ? How do you fit in those small seats ?

      July 10, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
  11. Doris

    I appreciate this offering by the Popes, but someone needs to tell them this is not ancient Rome. Besides, I'm sure FIFA has very strict rules about the size and precise shape of a soccer ball.

    July 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
  12. Salero21

    JAJAJA... oops... pardon me again please... I meant to say... HAHAHA. This article is a good joke!

    July 9, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      You're always needing to be pardoned. You also never give any reasons for your ASSertions. What's up with that ? Why do you think you are the exception to rational discourse ?

      July 9, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
    • Science Works

      Hey Sal and this comes from the bible belt.

      The sacred confession booth ? But football means more it looks like..

      What a joke.


      take the dash out of se-x for url to work.

      July 9, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
      • Salero21

        Just so you know, I don't click on links provided by anyone on this Blog. Also the American Concept/idea of such a thing as a "Bible belt" is almost as stupid as atheism. Only catholics, apostate christians of those who don't know the Scriptures well and of course extreme hypocritical and Compulsive Liars atheists will believe, fall or use such terms as you just did.

        July 9, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          If H. L. Menken's term "bible belt" wasn't so appropriate, people wouldn't keep using it any more. If the shoe fits ...

          July 9, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • Salero21

          If the dunce hat fits you well wear it!

          July 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          When and if anyone needs one, we'll borrow one of yours.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
  13. Reality

    Tis just a soccer game. On the other hand, the Christian "game" has been lost due to its scandals which has exposed the flawed foundations of all religions. Details previously presented.

    July 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
    • kudlak

      Saying that the World Cup final is just a soccer game is like saying that the Superbowl is just another football game, you know?

      July 9, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        The Superbowl was no game this year.

        July 9, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
      • Reality

        Yes indeed, the Super Bowl is simply another football game. Tis the commercials that make the game interesting. Soccer has become more interesting this year because of the overexposure of football on TV. ( 30 games/week?)

        July 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
  14. colin31714

    I saw a PBS special on the Vatican Bank last night. It really is rotten pretty much down to he tap root. The gist of it was that Benedict tried to reform it, but couldn't and that Francis is genuinely trying (and somewhat succeeding.)

    July 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
    • kudlak

      The rot goes back way before the Reformation, all the way to the apostles. So, it's hard to imagine that any good fruit could have ever come from such a tree.

      July 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Well the "Collection for the Saints" from Paul to the Church in Jerusalem, (his attempt to buy his way into the number of the apostles) was a bribe. So you may be on the right track. He caused SO much trouble they kicked him out and said "ok you get lost and go *be the apostle to the gentiles* ... whatever you do just go", he had to buy his way back into their favor.

        July 9, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          – up to your stupid heretical revisionist history again? actually if you had ever actually read the bible you would know that the collection Paul brought was for the persecuted and downtrodden Messianic Jews in Jerusalem who were oppressed by Judaism in it's death throes. Christians had been forced out of their homes, lost their livelihood, etc etc so there was a real need. Paul, felt compelled to help them as did many other Christian. your evil mind always manifests itself in thinking the worst doesn't it?

          July 11, 2014 at 9:34 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      That Frontline looked excellent – I caught part of the middle of it. It was first broadcast in February and I missed it then too.

      I wish PBS would rerun these at useful times to watch, though they are available on-line.

      July 9, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
  15. Vic

    In a broader sense, I sure hope this does not have Catholic vs. Protestant Holy War implications, or I should say Tug of War.

    July 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
  16. G to the T

    Anyone who believes a supreme being would have any interest in a particular sports team (or celebrity for that matter) has a very small god indeed.

    July 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Odin is a Patriots fan...

      July 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
      • G to the T

        Well that's the obvious exception that proves the rule LET...

        July 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Odin is a Patriots fan...
        Absolutely, positively, NOT.

        Odin is a Minnesota Vikings fan. Their logo even looks like him.

        July 9, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Well... Løki says: Go Pats!

          LET's Religiosity Law #15 – The Patriots are the best football team in the NFL. This law cannot be impugned.

          July 10, 2014 at 7:46 am |
        • johnbiggscr

          I think we can all agreed Odin doesn't support the Giants.

          July 10, 2014 at 9:20 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          @John – HA!

          July 10, 2014 at 9:52 am |
    • MadeFromDirt

      Hey G to the T, good point, we fully agree on something about God.

      July 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
  17. Doris

    What a strange idea. Neither one of their heads seem to be of regulation size anyway...

    July 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • Doris

      Before yesterday, I would have said my money was on Argentina. Now I'm not so sure.

      July 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
  18. igaftr

    These guys are embroiled in some of the biggest corruption scandals ever, cover-ups of it, denial of the high level of gay bishops, priests and cardinals, the systematic hiding of money to avoid paying the victims, money that was granted by the courts and the over-all hypocricy of the Vatican, and you want to discuss a game?
    A fluff piece.

    July 9, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
  19. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Why Daniel... why? The Levant is poised to implode over religious differences... and we get a ridiculous Pope/Soccer article?

    July 9, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • CNN Belief Blog EditorCNN

      We just had a Middle East piece yesterday. Nothing wrong with mixing up light and dark, serious and not-so.

      July 9, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
      • midwest rail

        Any justification for the closed comments on the Pope/abuse story ?

        July 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • CNN Belief Blog EditorCNN

          Directing the comment thread to the main article, which was linked to.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        @Daniel – I think the 2 Popes should battle to the death with Klingon bat'leths (televised and with J.T. Kirk battle music going)... last Pope standing gets to keep The Hat of Power! What a great post-battle article that would be... all I ask is a byline credit.

        July 9, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
    • kudlak

      The 100 Hour War, between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969, was essentially sparked over riots about qualifying for the 1970 World Cup. So, never underestimate how serious soccer is taken in the rest of the world. I wouldn't sell life insurance to any of Brazil's players now.

      July 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
  20. LaBella

    Oh, good grief.
    Pope vs Pope? Sheesh.

    July 9, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      They could have a bless-off.
      "My Pontifical blessing is more powerful than your Pontifical blessing".
      "My blessing carries a better indulgence than your blessing. Na-na, na-na, Na. Na"
      I have better looking altar boys than you do. Na na.

      July 9, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
1 2 3 4
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.