Thou shalt not play football on Easter Day
And his first pronouncement since hearing of his elevation was not upon the importance of faith-based education, the abhorrence of abortion, the evil of chimeras, ‘saviour siblings’ or fatherless children, the undermining of the family, the parlous state of his church in England and Wales, or the ascendancy of ‘gay rights’ above religious liberty and freedom of speech.
No. The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols has decided to attack the heads of the Premier League and Setanta Sports for showing ‘disdain’ for the religious traditions of the United Kingdom, for disregarding the importance of Easter Sunday. And he criticises them for worshipping Mammon (profane ‘commercial considerations’) instead of honouring the sacred.
Sadly, there are no Eric Liddells in the world of football, and so passion for the beautiful game trumps the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. While His Eminence may desire that Easter Day ought to be football-free in order that the multitudes of faithful sheep may worship Christus Victor, he is not likely to receive a sympathetic hearing from this anti-Christian Labour government, and even less from those idolatrous goats who journey from the four corners of the kingdom to worship at the stadia and sing their hymns of triumph to the gods of the age.
Sunday is now a work day for many people but His Eminence has not seen fit to criticise Wimbledon for playing on the Lord’s Day (which is not the Sabbath day).
But Easter Sunday is different. It is not just another holiday; it is the pre-eminent Christian holy day and the busiest Sunday in the Church’s year.
It is, of course, too much to expect that the Archbishop of Canterbury might have said something upon the matter. He quite probably believes it to be a little like playing the National Lottery – simply a matter of competing fairly in the marketplace of gods in the hope that your god happens to win.