We get it — Francis is the pope; he has to be neutral. But c’mon, if you are so neutral that you can’t watch the game, how does receiving “play by play” updates otherwise satisfy a commitment to neutrality? I guess one man’s neutrality is another’s self-flagellation.
And what’s wrong with not being neutral anyway? Is he not allowed to say he likes Catholicism best too? A pope can’t like Spanish wine, or French cheese, or Chinese food without irritating the Italians, the Swiss or the Japanese?
In recent memory, all the popes have had a national origin, none were natural citizens of the Vatican, and at least some of them (St. JP II comes to mind) admitted to a natural (and understandable) fondness for their home countries.
Does this mean that JPII cast aspersions on people from other countries, or made infallible statements ex cathedra regarding the superiority of Polish pierogi over Lithuanian zeppelins? Of course not.
So this is just dumb. Let him admit (I’m surprised he hasn’t already) that he wanted Argentina to win and Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI simply prayed harder than he did and Germany won because of it. After all, BXVI has more time on his hands now, which should be a true sign of just how neutral Francis really is.