San Francisco, Kansas City bishops make Super Bowl wager

Kansas City, Mo., Feb 1, 2020 / 12:01 pm (CNA).- On Sunday the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs will play Super Bowl LIV, and the local ordinaries of the teams have made a friendly wager on the outcome of the game.

The teams will play in Miami Feb. 2.

“These two storied franchises have the pleasure of playing in two vibrant Catholic Dioceses and the bishops chose a friendly wager to reflect the loyal fans, the witness of striving for goals, and the common good of teamwork and community unity,” read a Jan. 28 statement from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

If the Chiefs win, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco will send Dungeness crabs to Bishop James Johnston, Jr. of Kansas City-St. Joseph, while if the 49ers are victorious, Bishop Johston will send steaks from the Kansas City Steak Company to Archbishop Cordileone.

“On February 2nd, not only will a Super Bowl Champion be named, an Ordinary will soon have the beginnings of a fantastic meal,” the Missouri diocese noted.

The bishops are praying for safe travel, good sportsmanship, and play without injury for all involved.

Wagers between local bishops of the teams playing the Super Bowl has become something of a tradition.

In 2018, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston bet on the outcome of Super Bowl LII, played by the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. At stake were $100 donations to Catholic Charities Boston or St. John’s Hospice in Philadelphia.

Bishops have also made public, friendly wagers on the outcomes of the NBA Championship and the World Series when their local teams have been at odds.

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  1. Maybe it is time for this tradition to be shelved. But the bishops will never admit that the identity politics that are causing Civic disunity have a real foundation.

  2. Wagering is gambling, regardless of its “charitable” purpose, and scarcely in keeping with the prudential and spiritual gravity that one expects of an authentically Catholic bishop whose focus is the salvation of souls and eternity. Moreover, the groveling episcopal crowd-pleasing and applause-seeking of “praying for safe travel, good sportsmanship, and play without injury for all involved” are absurd when the sport in question necessarily results in cerebral vascular trauma to its participants and has been demonstrated to cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The Brain Injury Research Institute notes: “In football, brain injuries account for 65% to 95% of all fatalities. Football injuries associated with the brain occur at the rate of one in every 5.5 games. In any given season, 10% of all college players and 20% of all high school players sustain brain injuries.” In historical context, this incident, slight as it may be, is nonetheless significant in providing still another proof of the de facto apostasy of Zeitgeist puppets like Cordileone, Johnston, Chaput, and O’Malley who applaud this modern gladiatorial brutality and the bread-and-circuses feasting and carousing that celebrates it.

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