Pope meets with NFL delegation, urges ‘culture of encounter’

Pope Francis (File photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has met with an NFL Hall of Fame delegation and urged them to translate values of teamwork and fair play from the football field to the broader community and help build a “culture of encounter.”

Speaking Wednesday during a special audience, Francis said such values help “combat the exaggerated individualism, indifference and injustice that hold us back from living as one human family.”

The soccer-mad pope joked that he is an avid fan of football — but the Argentine kind.

The NFL delegation included Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Aug. 5.

Francis recorded a video message on the eve of this year’s Super Bowl in which he repeated his call for sports to encourage a “culture of encounter.”

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