The Deacon's Bench

Well, who knew?

This item, from a sports fan site, lays it all out (with tongue planted firmly in cheek):

In unrelated events, the following actions and cease and desist orders were served to the National Football League and NFL properties.

The office of the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has sent a cease and desist order to the NFL for the use of the term “Saints.”

Apparently, in the year 602, Francesco Roccaforte, the Secretary of State under Pope Gregory I (also known as Gregory the Great for his great business acumen) filed for a perpetual international trademark on the term Saints.

In a press release the Cardinal Bertone’s office stated:

“We love the great people of New Orleans, their great football team, and their 300-plus years of Catholic tradition. However, we have found that the illegal use of the nickname Saints by the NFL franchise in New Orleans has caused great economic and spiritual harm to the Church. It has caused confusion among the faithful and we insist that the league immediately cease using our trademarked name.”

The amount of damages are not known, but financial analysts estimate the potential amount to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

There is also rumor that the Vatican may be filing a similar claim against the Arizona football franchise for use of the term Cardinals.

To find out the reasoning behind this, check the link.

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