#PauseForPeace - Vatican calls for ceasefire for World Cup final
The Vatican on Friday called for a truce in wars around the globe during Sunday’s World Cup final, taking to social media with the hashtag #pauseforpeace as a conflict in the Gaza Strip escalates and killings continue in Ukraine.
"Adherents are asking for a moment of silence around the Sunday, July 13 match to remember those stricken by wars and unrest worldwide," the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture said in a statement.
The statement said that some people were asking for a moment of silence at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro itself, although there has been no official announcement on this from FIFA.
Melchor Sanchez de Toca y Alameda, undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said: "Sports were born around religious festivities. Sporting events were moments of peace, when wars ceased, as for the Olympic truce."
PHOTO: Twitter / Lauren Cater
The face-off in Rio will be between football-mad Pope Francis’s native Argentina and Germany – the homeland of his predecessor Benedict XVI.
The Vatican has played down the prospect of the two popes settling down to watch the match – Benedict XVI is known more for his love of theology and piano music – but has said Francis might follow it.