Most often-asked question by first-time visitors to the Church of Maradona: Is that a soccer ball with a crown of thorns? Why yes, it is. This holy procession honoring the Argentine soccer great also includes a replica World Cup trophy and a church with a tiny soccer ball steeple bell. No way this could be considered blasphemous. Pray along with the video which follows the jump. We told you yesterday about Maradona being named as head coach of the Argentine National soccer team, despite the fact that he has very little coaching experience. Briefly mentioned in the linked article was the Church of Maradona, which I thought was a joke, quite frankly. But evidently it's real. And as you can see, it's members are not at all insane.

Church members celebrate Maradona's 48th birthday in the video, which they refer to as the year D.D. 48 ("Despues," or "After" Diego). Included in the procession is an oversized rosary — sorry, goalary — which includes 34 beads, the number of goals Maradona scored for Argentina.

Founded 10 years ago by a group of friends in Rosario, a port city to the north of Buenos Aires, it has swelled to more than 120,000 members. Dozens of more members were "baptized" on Wednesday by slamming a football with their hand, in homage to the "Hand of God" goal Maradona scored against England in the 1986 World Cup.

If you want to be absolved of your many sins, why not spend an afternoon at the Church of Maradona? No way your indiscretions can be worse than those of Maradona himself, who burns through wives, booze and cocaine faster than just about any patron saint you can name. Well, except for Saint Andrew (shown here holding invisible doobie). The Church Of Maradona [CNN] Diego Maradona's 48th Birthday Celebrated By Church of Maradona [Telegraph.co.uk]