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Pope Francis calls Super Bowl LI a sign of peace, friendship, solidarity

Pope Francis Appoints New Cardinals

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - NOVEMBER 19: Pope Francis holds his speech during the Ordinary Public Consistory at St. Peter’s Basilica on November 19, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. Thirteen of the new Cardinals will be under 80 years and will be eligible to vote in a conclave. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

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As an Argentinian octogenarian, Pope Francis is probably not a big fan of American football. But he delivered a message about the Super Bowl today.

In a video released by the Vatican and shown on the NRG Stadium big screen before the game, Francis said he hopes Super Bowl Sunday is a day for people to join together.

“By participating in sport, we are able to go beyond our own self-interest - and in a healthy way - we learn to sacrifice, to grow in fidelity and respect the rules. May this year’s Super Bowl be a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity to the world,” Francis said.

The pope has previously weighed in on the Olympics and the World Cup, but this is the first time he’s commented on the Super Bowl. That’s a good get for the NFL.