Scottish fans "may sin" by not supporting England in World Cup

A Catholic theologian from Scotland told Scottish soccer fans they might be committing a sin if they do not support their historical and soccer archrival England in the World Cup.

Catholic News Service reports that Scotland's national team did not qualify for the World Cup, and Fr William McFadden told soccer fans north of the English border that they need to examine their consciences before deciding where their allegiance lies for the games which kicks off this weekend in Germany.

Fr McFadden, who also serves as rector of Scotland's national seminary, Scotus College in Glasgow, said the determining factor was motivation.

"If a Scot has an automatic negative reaction to supporting England, then they would have to question where that feeling is coming from," he said. "As Christians we are called to have positive relationships with others who may be different from us. If we have an automatic anti-relationship with someone simply because they are English, then that is anti-Christian.

"On the other hand, if your motivation comes from the enjoyment of football (soccer) and you choose to support a different team for that reason, then there is no sin in not supporting England. The key question is what is our motivation," he said.

Scotus College has two English students in residence, although England's national flag, a St George's flag, has not yet been unfurled on the premises, Fr McFadden said.

"As a community we pray together, work together, study together and will watch the World Cup together," he said, noting that there was "nothing wrong with healthy competition."

"Our college football team recently played against the English seminary, Ushaw College, Durham, and we beat them soundly in a most enjoyable game," he said.

In World Cup Group B competition, England faces Paraguay on 10 June, Trinidad on 15 June and Sweden on 20 June.

Pictured: Wayne Rooney

Theologian: Scottish soccer fans may sin by not supporting England (Catholic News Service/Catholic Online 5/6/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
FIFA World Cup Germany
Scotus College

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7 Jun 2006