Archbishop, that is. It’s always such a novelty to see a bishop at bar, especially when he’s on stage and got a mic in hand, sans a Guinness to his own misfortune. Maybe he gave it up for Lent.
Anyway, last night hundreds of young adults packed into Four Fields Irish pub in D.C. to catch a glimpse of Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl and hear what he had to say about the role of the papacy in the Church. The archbishop, known for his work in catechesis, came to address the bar patrons for a theology on tap, breaking fire code for sure. It was great.
“Pope Benedict is Peter of our times,” the archbishop told the young adults as they sipped their beers and carefully listened. It was a perfect topic as Washington prepares for the pope’s visit in April.
Opening up the floor to questions, Archbishop Wuerl explained the writings of Pope Benedict XVI. He also answered a question about the pope’s personality and why the media (secular, that is) was so quick to see him as a man ready to lay the smack down. (I’m paraphrasing).
He likened Joseph Ratzinger’s position as the prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith before becoming pope as a referee in a football game. The crowds ears perked up… Mine did, at least. The ref has to throw the flag if a player is out of bounds. That’s his job, the archbishop told the crowd. One of the teams is not going to like the ref at some point, but a ref has a job to do. The prefect of the CDF is the ref, of sorts. It isn’t necessarily something the ref enjoys dong, but you gotta play by the rules.
“He’s a kind and gentle man,” said Archbishop Wuerl, who has collaborated with the pope (before he was pope) on various catechetical projects. He stressed the fact that Papa B’s first encyclical was on the love of God, and his second on Hope. He wrote an exhortation on the Eucharist, calling it the Sacrament of Love.
In addition to the evening’s festivities, six tickets were raffled off for the Papal Mass April 17 at the National’s stadium! A woman screamed on the top of her lungs when her number was called and I was busting a gut laughing at her reaction. It was hilarious. I can totally understand her reaction, but it was just funny.