The second and return match between the St Peter’s Cricket club (the team from Rome comprised Catholic seminarians and new clergy) and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s xXI (the team made up of Church of England theological college students and new clergy) was held on Saturday 24th October near Ciampino on the outskirts of Rome. The Catholic side won, balancing the outcome from last year in Canterbury when the Church of England team won. Each team has won on its own home ground.
This is a win-win over the two years, which is precisely what we want from all our encounters with each other. Each partner gives their best effort and each challenges the other to bring forth their best, and the overall effect is a healthy, robust relationship which inspires respect and an enrichment of the game as a whole. Without the other inviting us to bring forth our best effort, we might not be what we are challenged to become. This works if the overall goal is the mindfulness of the game, its values, its disciplines and its ethos. We are twice the team we were after a good and fair encounter like this.
I noticed once again that each member of each team embraced everyone else after the game was over, suggesting that at the end of the match, at the end of the day, we are one team. In ecumenism this is always true. One Church, one Faith, one Baptism. One Lord of all. An extraordinary result more recently has been the arranging of a game with Muslim players and the St Peter's team in the UK, ever widening circles of engagement and friendship can only be good for us all, and for the world.
Following the game the Archbishop of Canterbury's XI attended the Papal Mass to complete the Synod on the Family in Rome and were photographed with Cardinal Vincent Nichols of England and Wales (left), and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Assistant Secretary of State for the Vatican (right).
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