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Scots Catholic

Calling Scotland's 841,000 Catholics to unite as one voice

Scots Catholic Blog


Ronaldo and Santos keen to recognise God's place in Portugal success

Posted on July 11, 2016 at 9:14 AM Comments comments (96)
Cristiano Ronaldo

First it was Ronaldo encouraging team-mate Joao Moutinho to take a penalty and telling him that the outcome is “in God’s hands”.  Now we have Ronaldo and the Portugal head coach Fernando Santos thanking the Creator.

Ronaldo, who was stretchered off injured after just 25 minutes of the Euro 2016 final against France, told journalists after the game that he “asked God for another chance”, a reference to previous failed attempts to win a major title with Portugal. 

Fernando Santos
His boss Santos was no less enthusiastic about God’s part in Portugal’s success, stating that “I’m very happy, of course.  First of all I would like to thank God for being with us, my wife, my mother, my grandson, my father - wherever he is, he is probably having a few beers.”

This type of witness should never be underestimated.  God should always be on our minds, day in, day out, no matter what we are doing.  Whether we are in Church, sitting at our work desk, or even on a football pitch, He must always be first.  While I wouldn’t pretend to know the depth of faith of these two men, one thing is clear: they both have God at the forefront of their minds and they aren’t ashamed to admit it.

David Luiz recognises the true value of marriage as he vows to abstain from pre-marital sex

Posted on May 19, 2015 at 12:08 PM Comments comments (24)
Paris St Germain and Brazil player David Luiz, aged 28, has gone against the popular tide and vowed to remain a virgin until he marries his girlfriend Sara Madeira.
The former Chelsea defender was recently baptized into a Pentecostal congregation and, similar to his Brazilian countryman Kaka, has decided to go public about the value of abstaining from sex until marriage.
Such witness to the value of marriage and indeed the sexual encounter is so vital in this world where sex is to be obtained at any cost, even when it means sacrificing the lives of innocent children.
Well done David for your powerful and courageous witness.

Louis Van Gaal right to question festive football schedule

Posted on December 2, 2014 at 9:06 AM Comments comments (0)
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has questioned the hectic English Premier League schedule over Christmas and bemoaned the time he will need to take away from his family.
Van Gaal, whose full name is Aloysius Paulus Maria (or Aloysius Paul Mary), said: "I have a wife, kids and grandchildren, and I cannot see them at Christmas."
While the United boss later accepted that he needs to adapt to the way of life in the Premier League, his comments are quite refreshing in focusing on his family at this important time of year.  Sadly the festive fixture list has become a real barrier to a family Christmas for many involved in football in recent years.  While players and other staff do tend to avoid having to play games on Christmas day, they are often required to train on that day in preparation for boxing day fixtures.
Yesterday we touched on the modernisation of saints feast days and how they have lost their real meaning.  You can't help but feel the same is happening to Christmas.  First it was Christ himself who was erased out of the picture, and now it's the family.

Pope welcomes Bayern Munich to the Vatican

Posted on October 24, 2014 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)
Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer present the Pope with a framed shirt bearing his name
Pope Francis welcomed Bayern Munich's stars to the Vatican on Wednesday, the day after they demolished Roma 7-1 in the Champions League.
The Pope spoke with the players and gave each a set of rosary beads as he congratulated them on their fine victory.

Thousands Gather at Match for Peace in Rome

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 7:16 AM Comments comments (0)
Pope Francis gathers with football stars
Thousands of fans gathered to watch an exhibition match in Rome where players from all over the world and from different religions came together to support peace efforts in Gaza.
The likes of Diego Maradona, Andriy Shevchenko, Paolo Maldini, Diego Simeone, Samuel Eto’o and Andrea Pirlo gathered for the match supported by Pope Francis.
Arsene Wenger was also in attendance as manager of one of the teams, though his appearance in Rome was met with frustration by many Arsenal fans who believed he should have been in London tying up new multi-million pound signings in transfer deadline day deals.  At least Mr Wenger appears to have got his priorities right! 

Messi, Pirlo, Zidane and others lined up to play in Vatican ‘Match for Peace’

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 7:17 AM Comments comments (2)
Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Juventus hero Andrea Pirlo have been lined up to play in a football match ‘for peace’ at the Olympic Stadium in Rome on 1st September.  Former Real Madrid star Zenedine Zidane will also play in the multi-faith event.

World Cup of Faith Provides an Example to All

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 2:07 PM Comments comments (0)
Daniel Sturridge praises God

While the World Cup, with all its colour and atmosphere, provided an exciting spectacle of football for the many millions of people glued to their TV screens over the last month or so, there was more than just football on show.

Once again, at a major football event, the faith of participants was very much in evidence.  You would run out of fingers and move onto your toes if you wanted to count the number of players blessing themselves as they entered the field at the start of your average World Cup game. 

If you believed the hype of secular organisations and the increasingly secular press you would be astonished to see this incredible show of faith; for it is their belief that the Christian faith is dying.  Yet the World Cup suggests a very different world from the one the secular protagonists portray.

Not only do we have numerous instances of players blessing themselves but we even have individual moments of intense prayer and witness to faith.  Consider Mexico's Javier Hernandez as he kneels on the turf immediately before kick off, his arms outstretched, palms in the air, speaking softly to God and perhaps offering up his efforts for the Father's Greater Good.
Also consider England's Daniel Sturridge, as he wheeled away to celebrate his goal against Italy, stretching his arms upward and uttering the words 'I love you Jesus, I bless you Father'. 
And then of course you have the great Lionel Messi, who will always give thanks to the Father after every goal he scores.

These are just three examples of faith by participants in this year's great football competition.  Add to that the many more examples of footballers giving glory to the Father through their work and you start to think that maybe there is a lesson in there for the rest of us.

While some people may be critical of sportsmen and women putting their faith in front of the cameras in such an obvious manner, we should take a step back and consider whether there is a little more to it than simply 'showing off' one's faith.

Yes, humility is important in faith and Jesus was clear that we shouldn't seek the praise of others as we pray and that we should say our prayers in secret where the Father will see us and hear us.  Yet we must also bear in mind the need to be a witness to our faith and to show others how much joy our faith gives us.

Pope Francis recently encouraged people to be witnesses to the love of Christ in all that they do, including their work.  In truth, he could have excluded many professional footballers from this call, as they already appear to be providing a very obvious witness as they go about their day job!  Perhaps these guys have it right and it is the rest of us who should look in the mirror and consider 'in what way am I witness to my Catholic faith before others?'

There will undoubtedly be footballers who, while their religious beliefs are blatantly obvious, don't behave in a manner befitting their faith.  But then, are we any better?  Do we sin any less? 

Perhaps we should consider taking a leaf out of the book of professional sports people like Javier Hernandez, Daniel Sturridge and Lionel Messi as we go about our own day jobs.  They seem to have a knack for remembering the most important things in life as they go about their work.  Why shouldn't we?

Christian Faith Critical for World Cup Star

Posted on June 26, 2014 at 9:54 AM Comments comments (2)
USA captain Clint Dempsey has never hidden the importance of his faith, whether he is on or off the football pitch.

In this short interview, the American explains a little more about what his faith means to him.

Pope entertains Messi, Buffon and co ahead of international friendly

Posted on August 13, 2013 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (4)
Buffon presents Pope Francis with a signed football
Pope Francis has met the football teams of both Italy and Argentina ahead of a friendly match which is to be played in his honour.
The Pope met the world’s top player Lionel Messi of Barcelona and later Messi said: “Without a doubt, today was one of the most special days of my life….We have to excel on and off the field.”
Pope Francis asked the players to take responsibility for their status as role models for many millions of people, both young and old, across the world, and he invited the players to pray for him so that “I too, on the ‘field’ where God has put me, can play an honest and courageous game for the good of all.”
Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon presented the pope with a signed ball and said that the pope’s request for the prayers of the players was another sign of his “humility and humanity.”  Buffon continued: “With a pope like this, it’s easier to be better.  He shows us the way, he warms hearts, he moves people’s souls.”
Julio Umberto Grondona, president of the Argentine soccer association said that the audience with Pope Francis had been “both unforgettable and moving.”
The friendly match will be played at the Olympic Stadium in Rome this Wednesday night at 7.45pm BST.