Unbeliever Pope fails to recognise football god
Pope Benedict XVI was introduced to the world's most famous footballer Pele and had no idea who he was.
The Irish Independent reports that the Holy Father met the Brazilian soccer legend in Cologne last Saturday. According to reports, a lip-reader watching TV footage said the Pope did not know who Pele was.
When introduced, Pope Benedict said: 'You're Brazilian...?' An aide then told the Pope: 'He's Pele and he was the world's greatest footballer.'
The 65 year old helped his country to win three World Cups and is described as a "devoted Catholic".
He was introduced to the Pope at last week's World Youth Day event in Cologne, Germany, but details of what happened only emerged yesterday.
A smiling Pope than allowed Pele, known as "O Reiu" or the "God of Football", to kiss his hand before giving him a blessing.
In contrast to Benedict, his predecessor Pope John Paul II was known as "God's Athlete" for his love of sport, particularly football and skiing.
Last night a Vatican spokesman refused to comment on the report but said: "The Pope met various people and the event was a great success."
However a Vatican insider said: "The Pope is more of a piano and music man and isn't really into sport.
"He would not have known Pele at all as the time he was famous the Holy Father was committed to his religious studies.
I'm Pope Benedict and you are Pele who . . . ? (Irishi Independent 25/8/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pope doesn't know Pele (Mirror.co.uk 25/8/05)
26 Aug 2005