Two church leaders are wagering traditional foods from their cities on the outcome of the World Series.
Cardinal-designate Blase Cupich of Chicago and Bishop Richard J. Lennon of Cleveland are making the friendly bet, with the loser donating food from a local restaurant to feed dozens of hungry people.
From Chicago, Cupich is wagering enough deep-dish pizza and baked goods to feed more than 100 guests of the Bishop William M. Cosgrove Center in Cleveland, should the Chicago Cubs lose to the Cleveland Indians.
Lennon, meanwhile, is meeting the challenge by offering enough pierogi, kielbasa and sauerkraut, and green beans for a like number of guests at a Chicago Catholic Charities center.
“Both cities have waited an eternity for this moment,” Cupich said in a press release announcing the bet. “So while it will be a historic win for either side, we feel it’s only right to celebrate by giving back.”
“We are confident in our team,” he added, “and yet I have to admit that I feel a bit guilty since in our tradition it is a sin to bet on a sure thing.”
He reiterated his comments on Twitter, through the official account of the Diocese of Chicago:
— Archbishop Cupich (@ArchbishopBlase) October 27, 2016
The diocesan seminaries from both cities couldn’t help joining in the fun:
— Borromeo Buckstars (@TheBuckstars) October 28, 2016
Despite Cupich’s pressure, Lennon did not back down in his statement, saying that his fellow prelate in Chicago is not the only one praying for a win — but his are for the Cleveland Indians.
“If by some devilish mistake the Indians were to lose, we will hold up our end of the bargain and send some of Cleveland’s finest dishes to a Catholic Charities ministry in Chicago so they can join in the celebration,” he said.
Local restaurants have partnered with the respective diocese to provide the meals.
This year’s World Series matches teams who have waited a combined 176 years for a World Series winner.