New York City, N.Y., Jun 14, 2010 / 09:07 am America/Denver (CNA).
A critic decried a recent World Cup car commercial as “Catholic mockery” as it features an actual church founded in honor of a former soccer player which parodies Catholic rituals.
The Iglesia Maradoniana – Maradonian Church – an allegedly real community in Argentina established by fans of retired soccer player, Diego Maradona, is featured in a recent Hyundai car commercial which aired during the FIFA World Cup last weekend.
In the commercial, a “priest” flanked by soccer players, processes into a church-like building, chanting the “Agnus Dei” in Latin while a soccer ball is carried in. After the priest “marries” a couple, the congregation erupts in dancing and singing while confetti rains down. Mock Eucharistic ministers are briefly seen feeding pizza to church members.
All of this occurs while a narrator says, “all over the world, soccer is almost a religion, but for the members of one church in Argentina, it actually is.”
“Fans show their loyalty in all kinds of ways – ours, just by another Hyundai.”