BY LUKE COPPEN
THE TW10E-DIVORCEd president of the FIFA world football federation has appealed to the Church to lift its ban on remarriage.
Sepp Blatter wrote to his local bishop appealing for the change after his third marriage in December. Mr Blatter, 67, married Graziella, 40, a former dolphin trainer, in a civil ceremony on December 23.
He told the Lausanne daily Le Malin last week that he was not seeking a church ceremony but was trying to protect his wife, who converted from Protestantism before their marriage.
Mr Blatter said his new wife, was being treated as a sinner for marrying him, even though she had never been married before.
"I arn defending my wife against hypocrisy and injustice." Mr Blatter told the paper. "What did the Lord say to those who wanted to stone Mary Magdalene? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," In the letter to Bishop Norbert Brunner of Sion, Switzerland, Mr Blatter wrote: "When we wanted to have our marriage blessed before God and the Church, she a single woman -has been branded as an adulteress. Even though it's I who have broken my marriage vows and not Graziella.
"At first I was so angry that I wanted to leave the Catholic Church immediately. But that isn't in my character. I am a fighter."
Bishop Brunner declined to comment on the letter, pointing out that he did not have the power to annul earlier marriages — a requirement before Blatter's most recent marriage could be approved by the Church.
In the eyes of the Church, Mr Blatter is considered still to be married to his first wife, though she has since remarried. His second wife died in 1999.
Mr Blatter's first marriage took place in a Catholic church, while his second marriage was a civil ceremony. He has one daughter, Corinne, who introduced Graziella to her father.