.- In a letter released by the Bishops’ Conference of Chile, Auxiliary Bishop Cristian Contreras Villarroel said the vast majority of soccer players are men of faith and that they have an enormous potential to evangelize.
Before the World Cup match between Chile and Honduras, Bishop Contreras pointed out that many players “enter the field making the Sign of the Cross,” and do the same when they score a goal.
“In these gestures there is an enormous potential for evangelization."
He suggested that the Church reach out to soccer players and coaches and establish a special ministry for sports. “Sports - soccer in particular - do enormous good for the comprehensive development of the person,” he added, saying “every seminarian and priest should be involved in some kind of sport, even if it just riding an exercise bike, as in my case.”
The prelate also warned that soccer fans can go overboard with their devotion to their teams. He remarked that while there are positive aspects of being a member of fan club, the violence that sometimes breaks out between different fans must not be tolerated.