Catholic bishops place bets on Steelers-Packers Super Bowl
By Kevin J. Jones
Bishops Ricken and Zubik
Bishops Ricken and Zubik

.- Ahead of the Super Bowl, Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay and Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh have made a friendly wager on the outcome of the NFL Championship game.

If the Pittsburgh Steelers win, Bishop Ricken will make a personal donation to Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh. If the Green Bay Packers win, Bishop Zubik will donate to Catholic Charities Green Bay.

Bishop Zubik said in a Feb. 2 press release that both bishops have wagered a “wide variety of local foods” to be donated to a food kitchen in the diocese of the winner.

Deacon Ray DuBois, director of communications at the Diocese of Green Bay, told CNA on Feb. 4 that there has been quite a bit of interest in the wager because Bishop Zubik was the previous Bishop of Green Bay.

Both bishops felt that any wager should “recognize the role that our fans play in the teams’ success” while also benefiting those who are “often ignored throughout all the hoopla.”

“The Packers are very much a part of our community, particularly since we are a geographical area with a large percentage of Catholics,” Deacon DuBois explained.

Bishop Zubik, a Pittsburgh native, commented on his split loyalties:

“I have great love for the church of Green Bay. That does not extend to the Packers in the Super Bowl. Go Steelers!”

However, he was more conciliatory in his comments to The Compass, the newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay. He said that even if the Steelers lose his other favorite team will win the championship.

“Both teams have fans that are very loyal and who know how to have a good time,” the bishop said. “Both cities have people of faith. I will never forget the wonderful people of Green Bay and northeast Wisconsin, so I'm thrilled.”

He noted that Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is “well respected” in his hometown of Pittsburgh, where he attended a Catholic high school.

Last year, Archbishop Daniel Buechlein of Indianapolis lost a Super Bowl bet to Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans when the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts. Archbishop Buechlein sent southern Indiana pork chops to the Crescent City.

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