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Pope ‘impartial’ on Germany-Italy match, but Maltese secretary to support Italy

Pope Benedict XVI to remain ‘impartial’ on Germany-Italy match, as preparations said to be underway for Bavarian Pontiff to follow tonight’s crucial semi-final in Warsaw.

Karl Stagno-Navarra
28 June 2012, 12:00am
A rare picture of Pope Benedict XVI watching television with his two close aides, including Mgr. Alfred Xuereb (far back)
Tonight's Euro 2012 semi-final between Germany and Italy has been said to be "eagerly awaited" in the Vatican's papal apartments, where Pope Benedict XVI resides with his close aides, most of whom are Italians.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said this morning that Pope Benedict XVI , will remain impartial but hopes that the"best side wins" when his homeland Germany takes on Italy in Warsaw.   "Personally I don't think that the Pope will watch the match," Fr Lombardi told press agenices.

 He said that the 85-year-old Pontiff will look to get a good night's rest before presiding tomorrow over the Feast of St Peter and St Paul - a traditional ceremony during which he will hand over scarfs to more than 40 Bishops nominated over the last year.

But the football match, Lombardi said, is being "eagerly awaited" in the Vatican's papal apartments where Benedict resides with his close aides, most of whom are Italians.

One of the pontiff's personal secretaries, German-born Monsignor Georg Gaenswein will support Germany, according to Lombardi.

"Everyone else will root for Italy, including the pontiff's other personal secretary, Monsignor Alfred Xuereb, who is Maltese," Lombardi said.