Howzat? Sub-continental flavour for Vatican XI

Trainee priests play cricket

When the first Vatican cricket team plays a team of Anglicans in England on September 19, the Vatican XI will be dominated by Indians, reports Matters India.


The Vatican XI is all set to play the Anglican team in England at the recently redeveloped St Lawrence Ground, home of Kent County Cricket Club.

The team will also play a Royal Household's XI on their Light of Faith Tour from September 12 to 20. 

The teams will play a Twenty20 match for a common cause — to raise money for an interfaith initiative to combat human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

The Vatican formed its team last year, tapping mostly Indian and Sri Lankan priests, deacons and seminarians studying in Rome. The idea was the brainchild of Australia's Ambassador to the Holy See, John McCarthy, who had been to play an Anglican squad in England in a show of ecumenical good sportsmanship.

During the recent visit of Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury to Rome, members of the St Peter's Cricket Club indicated they would like to meet with the Queen and the Royal Family during their tour. The Royal Household confirmed the invitation for the Vatican team to play at Windsor for a warm-up match on September 17. Ambassador McCarthy suggested that the royal team could feature Grenadier guards and household cavalry.

The match against the Anglican team has been scheduled to forge closer ties between the Catholic and Anglican churches, which split in 1534 and nearly 500 years later remain divided on a host of issues.

'This initiative has taken on royal proportions,' joked the Rev Eamonn O'Higgins, the Vatican team's manager. 'We hope through what we do, through our example, through the way we play and the way we conduct ourselves in England and on the tour, we'll be known not just as moderate cricket players, but people through whom God's presence is made evident.'

Full story: Indians dominate Vatican cricket team (Matters India)

Image from The Guardian 

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