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Vietnam priests to compete at football for a synodal church

The National Synodal Cup organized by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam will be held in July-October
Priests have football practice in Tu Chau Parish on June 15

Priests have football practice in Tu Chau Parish on June 15. (Photo: tonggiaophanhanoi.org)

Published: June 22, 2022 05:44 AM GMT
Updated: December 29, 2022 10:57 AM GMT

Catholic priests from dioceses across Vietnam will compete in the first-ever national football championship to promote the spirit of synodality among them.

The National Synodal Cup 2022-23 to be held in July and October will coincide with the 15th National Congress of Vietnam bishops.

Vietnam bishops select a new president, secretary-general, deputies and heads of the 17 episcopal commissions during the Congress held every three years

The football cup to be organized by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam (CBCV) also aims to foster fraternity among local clergy in the run-up to the 2023 assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

The CBCV president, Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, will head the organizing board for the tournament. 

Hue Archdiocese said the event is expected to have 19 teams from the archdioceses of Hanoi and Hue and 17 dioceses out of the country’s 27.

“It is important that after practice games, our priest players understand one another, find joy and fraternal communion, and are bursting with energy for their pastoral work"

The teams will be divided into four groups according to their ecclesiastical provinces and will compete in their group’s round robins. The two best teams in each group will advance to the quarter-finals.

Clergy Hue and Da Nang are expected to play the opening match in Hue in July and the final match will be played in Hanoi in October.

Hue Archdiocese said it had selected its team in April and the players have been practicing regularly on Monday afternoons, hoping to improve their fitness levels and be ready for the opening match.

“It is important that after practice games, our priest players understand one another, find joy and fraternal communion, and are bursting with energy for their pastoral work," the archdiocese said.

On June 16, Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien of Hanoi officially founded Clergy Hanoi and a training board.

The team is led by female coach Dao Thi Mien, a former player of the Vietnam national women’s team.

Archbishop Thien urged priests to play at full strength, increase synodality among them and with other priests in other dioceses, and achieve the targets of the championships.

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