Below is a translation of the transcript of Pope Francis’ video message to the soccer players at last night’s Interreligious Match for Peace at Rome’s Olympic Stadium:
Good evening, and I’m glad you are gathered for this game that is so symbolic. It is a game which highlights the union of teams, the union of those who are participating as spectators, the desire of all of whom is peace. A game where nobody plays by himself but with another, or rather, with all. And this multiplies among more people and teams. And teams that play for competition rather than war is the seed of peace. So this match’s symbol is the olive tree. I give a special greeting to the members of “Scholas” which have organized this celebration and who will plant the olive branch of peace. I invite everyone to plant together with “Scholas”. I apologize for speaking in Spanish but it is the language of my heart, and today I want to speak from the heart.
Thanks for this.