TORONTO- The World Cup final is fast approaching with Germany poised to battle Argentina for the top prize.
The final which is set for Sunday is fitting as another clash lurks in the shadows in what is being dubbed “The Battle of The Popes.”
Pope Francis and his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI each come from a country of origin with a vested interest in the World Cup final.
A couple comments have come to light so far, as they will not be watching the game together and have promised to abstain from divine intervention.
Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Thursday the time of the final is late for Francis’ routine, adding he will likely be sleeping, and acknowledged with a chuckle that Benedict wasn’t known as an avid sports fan. Still, he didn’t rule anything out, saying, “we’ll see in the coming days.”
Pope Francis has already given his word that there would be no papal intervention in Argentina’s fortunes, promising he would not pray for any team. German-born Benedict’s interests are known to lean more toward intellectual than athletic pursuits.
Lombardi said “both would want the better team to win, without taking sides.”
Still, the unusual circumstances have led to an onslaught of papal humour. Several memes have surfaced in the lead up to football’s greatest spectacle. Here are a few of the ones we were able to dig up:
-With files from The Associated Press